ASEAN, Canada look to negotiate bilateral trade deal hinh anh 1Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The 9th AEM-Canada Consultations took place on August 29 within the framework of the 52nd ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting (AEM-52).

Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh and Canadian Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade Mary Ng co-chaired the virtual event.

Participating ministers evaluated growth in trade exchange and investment between the two sides when two-way trade reached 17.1 billion USD and Canada’s investment in ASEAN hit 3.2 billion USD last year.

These figures helped Canada become ASEAN’s ninth biggest trader and fifth largest investor, they noted.

They acknowledged positive progresses in implementing a plan within the framework of the ASEAN-Canada Joint Statement on Trade and Investment in the 2016-2020 period, and approved another plan for 2021-2025 with extensive commitments.

They appreciated main outcomes of the fourth trade policy dialogue between the bloc and Canada held on June 8-12, with the focus on Government procurement, labour, environment and State-owned enterprises.

The ministers also hailed both sides’ efforts towards negotiations on a bilateral trade agreement in the time ahead, while showing concerns over negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people’s lives and economic development in the region and over the globe.

They pledged to continue opening the market and boosting investment to encourage the circulation of essential goods and services.

They also agreed not to apply protection measures, including non-tariff measures that negatively affect the flow of essential goods and services in the coming time to join hands in fighting the pandemic./.