Hanoi (VNA) – Former Canadian Ambassador to Vietnam David Devine has lauded Vietnam-Canada ties over the past years, especially in education, trade, agriculture, technology and environment.

During an interview recently granted to Vietnam News Agency in Canada, Devine said the upcoming visit by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc from June 8-10 to attend the Group of Seven (G7) Outreach Summit will open up new prospects and reflect G7 countries’ appreciation for Vietnam in seeking measures for global issues.

According to him, education cooperation is one of the highlights in Vietnam – Canada ties. Over the past three years, the number of Vietnamese students in Canada has soared 300 percent, amounting to 15,000 in 2017. The North American country has strived to improve rating system, ease financial pressure on students via the support of Scotia bank, and market curricula and learning environment.

He said Canadian universities and colleges offer more than 10,000 different curricula. Canada has safe, open and multicultural living environment that suits international students. Over the past years, it has moved up to the third place as a destination for Vietnamese students.

Devine said education holds the best cooperation potential and there remains rooms to tap. Several Canadian universities now want to attract more Vietnamese students and consider bringing some curricula to the Southeast Asian country.

Canada’s exports to Vietnam doubled annually to over 1 billion CAD last year, especially farm produce and aquatic products. Meanwhile, Vietnam’s exports to Canada topped 5 billion CAD, the highest in ASEAN.

As members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the two nations are able to assist each other in navigating regional and global markets, he said, adding that they have laid a solid foundation for long-term economic cooperation and Canada could help Vietnam in important fields such as environment, technology and climate change response.

Thanks to the former diplomat’s advice, six Canadian firms and Ottawa University sent six student groups to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to learn about investment environment, proving that they are keen to do business in Vietnam on mutually-beneficial basis.

The two nations have supplementary values to extend trade with the world, he said.

Canada also wants to help Vietnam deal with difficulties regarding urban development, health care, clean water supply and environment pollution, he said.

He added that Canada is striving to extend trade with Vietnam in each sector with the hope that once the CPTPP takes effect, bilateral ties will further thrive. Low tariffs in CPTPP will make it easier for the two nations to access markets in the bloc and boost manufacturing.

On the sidelines of the G7 Outreach Summit, PM Phuc will have chances to meet other leaders, and discuss with Canadian PM Justine Trudeau about the future and prospects of Vietnam – Canada ties on the back of the bilateral comprehensive partnership as agreed by the two countries’ leaders during Trudeau’s Vietnam visit to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting late last year.-VNA