Vietnamese Ambassador to Canada Pham Cao Phong made these remarks during the “Developing the Vietnam-Canada Business Partnership” webinar which was held on January 20 between the Vietnamese Embassy, the Government of Quebec, and the ASEAN-Canada Business Council.
Despite the negative impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, bilateral relations between both sides continued to flourish in 2020, with two-way trade enjoying an annual surge of 11.2%. Ambassador Phong added that the pandemic represents a chance for both sides to seek more innovative and effective measures aimed at fostering greater bilateral relations.
John F.G Hannaford, deputy minister of International Trade at Global Affairs Canada, expressed his admiration for the Vietnamese response to COVID-19, affirming the important role of international co-operation during the course of the pandemic.
The nation’s ability to maintain an open supply chain for essential goods and services has served to allow uninterrupted trade flows between Canada and Southeast Asia, Hannaford said, stressing that the North American nation has pledged to enhance its trade ties with the country moving forward.
Canada sees that major opportunities exist for broader co-operation in the fields of food processing, agriculture, education, information and communications technology, and infrastructure in the nation. Due to these factors, Canadian firms aspire to invest more to build trading ties with the country, he added.
In his address during the webinar, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai stated that the country can be viewed as a “centre of FTAs”, with several major and important agreements signed recently. This includes the CPTPP which accounts for 13% of global GDP, the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) which makes up 16% of global GDP, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) which is 32% of global GDP.
Moving forward, the country desires to become a reliable destination and bridge which connects Canada to both ASEAN and the Asia-Pacific region, Deputy Minister Hai said.
As of November, 2020, Canada was 14th among countries and territories to invest in the nation, with more than US$5.05 billion pouring into 212 projects throughout the country.