Vietnam a bridge helping Canada diversify trade in Asia-Pacific

The Vietnam Ministry of Industry and Trade and Global Affairs Canada (GAC) recently organized the Vietnam-Canada Business Forum in Vancouver, British Columbia, within the framework of the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) between Vietnnam and Canada.

 At the first meeting of the Vietnam - Canada Joint Economic Committee in Vancouver. (Photo: VNA)
At the first meeting of the Vietnam-Canada Joint Economic Committee in Vancouver. (Photo: VNA)

As part of his remarks at the event, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai outlined that the two countries enjoy a better foundation for political and economic relations than ever before.

As well as being active members of the committee, the two nations support each other in international multilateral forums, and receive attention from leaders of both countries, with political and socio-economic ties becoming deeper.

Bilateral relations were duly upgraded to a comprehensive partnership back in 2017, in which trade and investment are the pillars of joint ties. Most notably, both sides joined an FTA for the first time when signing up to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

As the forum's guest of honor, Canada's Deputy Minister of International Trade David Morrison affirmed that the long-standing friendship with the country is key to the North American nation’s commitment to strong, constructive, and diverse partnership in the fields of diplomacy, economics, security, and sustainable development in the Indo-Pacific region.

In line with this, the nation is considered to be one of the 10 most open economies in the world, boasting trade relations with over 230 markets, including FTA relations with 60 economies.

Despite enduring the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country still attracted US$28 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2020.

Deputy Minister Hai said that, with the structure of goods and complementary strengths, along with conditions that the two governments have now established, there is ample room in which to promote trade and investment ties.

Moving forward, the Deputy Minister believes that the nation will serve as a solid bridge for Canada to successfully carry out its trade diversification strategy within the Asia-Pacific region.

Impressed by the Vietnamese gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate which is estimated to be at 6% this year, Canadian Deputy Minister Morrison voiced his hope that through joint efforts to promote trade and investment promotion activities, firms and workers in both countries will benefit from the new supply chain and enhance market diversification.

The discussion session at the forum was of great interest to the attendees and largely focused on the topics of developing supply chain connectivity, business recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic, opportunities from FTAs, logistics connections, as well as incentives and priorities for further investment.

Direct business connection is also an important part of the forum, featuring the participation of 23 Vietnamese businesses involved in the fields of garments and textiles, furniture, handicrafts, construction materials, and agricultural products.

There have been more than 50 Canadian firms registering to participate in the forum, all of whom are keen to build connections in the hope that many transactions can be implemented in the near future.

The number of Canadian enterprises pursuing business opportunities in the Vietnamese market is increasing, especially in the fields of agriculture and food processing, education, information and communication technology, clean technology, and aerospace.

Many Canadian businesses have set up offices and production facilities in the nation to take advantage of the country's growing prominence as part of the global value chain.

The Vietnam - Canada Business Forum is widely considered by industry experts as a "golden opportunity" in which to create and strengthen links between both nations’ businesses.

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(Source: VOV)