Currently Vietnam is Canada’s largest trading partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), with two-way trade reaching CAD7.98 billion (equivalent to US$6.01 billion) in 2019, compared to CAD6.5 billion in 2018, Hembroff told an online seminar held October 1 by the Canada-Vietnam Trade Council.
In addition, she said Vietnam is the largest supplier of its students to Canada among ASEAN countries and the fifth globally.
She cited statistics saying Vietnam’s exports to Canada have increased by 29.7% since the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) came into effect a year ago. Notably, its electronic exports rose by 72%.
In the opposite direction, Canada’s exports to Vietnam have also seen a robust growth, with meat skyrocketing up 230.7% and cereals rising up 61.2%.
Hembroff expressed her hope a comprehensive trade agreement between Canada and ASEAN will benefit all parties involved. Particularly, she said it will help Vietnam optimize opportunities offered by FTAs, and at the same time create conditions for the Southeast Asian nation to elevate the positive impact of the CPTPP in areas of common interest.
Canada along with four ASEAN countries namely Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei are members of the CPTPP. Both Canada and ASEAN are implementing the Work Plan under the ASEAN-Canada Joint Declaration on Trade and Investment. Canada’s investment and trade activities in Southeast Asia cover various fields, including oil and gas, mining, high technology, telecommunications, food processing, financial services, aviation among others.
Addressing the event, Vietnamese Ambassador to Canada Pham Cao Phong noted with satisfaction that two-way trade exchanges between Vietnam and Canada had kept increasing during the first six months of the year despite the common downward trend globally due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vietnam is currently one of the top 10 seafood suppliers of Canada, Phong said, adding that as an FTA “hub” in the Asia-Pacific region, Vietnam will serve to bring Canadian goods and services to ASEAN’s 660 million consumer market, as well as to other important markets in the region. Meanwhile, Canada may be the gateway for Vietnamese products to penetrate other markets in the Americas.
The Canada-Vietnam Trade Council was established 10 years ago to foster bilateral trade ties. It has since carried out many activities to connect businesses and provide information on trade-investment exchanges between the two sides.
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