Scene at the conference (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – A conference on enhancing partnership between Vietnamese localities and Canada took place in Hanoi on January 16, gathering 200 government officials, business delegates and representatives of Canadian non-governmental organisations.

The event was meant to create an opportunity for Vietnamese localities to connect with the Canadian side and form partnerships, particularly in three prioritised sectors – trade-investment, development cooperation, and education-training.

At the conference, representatives of Vietnamese localities also informed Canadian non-governmental organisations about their needs for development funding to alleviate poverty and boost education.

Most participants agreed that current cooperation between Vietnam and Canada still felt short of potential. They called on local governments to play a more active role in attracting and facilitating investment and assistance from the North American country.

Deputy Foreign Minister Ha Kim Ngoc affirmed that Vietnam lays stress on strengthening relations with Canada, adding that trade is a highlight in bilateral ties.

Vietnam is Canada’s biggest trade partner in the ASEAN region, with two-way revenue reaching 4.6 billion USD in 2015 and 3.4 billion USD in the first 9 months of 2016. The two nations planned to push the figure to 10 billion USD in the next ten years.

Canada has so far channelled 5.28 billion USD in 149 projects in Vietnam, ranked 14th out of 112 countries and territories investing in Vietnam.

Canadian Ambassador to Vietnam Ping Kitnikone recommended Vietnamese localities create favourable conditions for Canadian investors in terms of mechanism, policy and human resources.

The dynamism and active role of local governments are a decisive factor to the attraction of investment, he said.

Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung vowed to create best conditions for Canadian and overseas Vietnamese to invest in the city in the long term.

Canada has 23 projects, worth 7.7 million USD, in the capital city.-VNA