Justin Trudeau’s visit to Vietnam to enhance bilateral ties hinh anh 1Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (​Source: The Forward)

Hanoi (VNA) –
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will pay an official visit to Vietnam on November 8 and 9, which is expected to mark an important milestone in bilateral ties and help foster bilateral cooperation more productively in all fields.

The visit takes place at a time when Vietnam – Canada relations are growing robustly and producing mutual benefits across sectors.

The two countries established diplomatic ties in 1973 and began exchange of high-ranking delegations since 1994.

In September 2014, the Vietnamese and Canadian ministers of foreign affairs signed a letter of intent on boosting bilateral relations. In July 2017, their first political consultation at deputy-foreign-minister level was held in Canada. Exchange of high-ranking officials between the sides has been increased, as has cooperation in politics-diplomacy, economics-trade, and education-training.

Vietnam is currently Canada’s biggest trade partner in Southeast Asia and a prioritised market in Canada's Global Markets Action Plan. Bilateral trade in recent years grew about 20 – 25 percent on average, hitting 4.1 billion USD in 2016 and 2.34 billion USD in the first eight months of 2017. Vietnam mainly exported to Canada machines, electronic devices, woodwork products, apparel, and footwear, while importing from the country fertilizers, soybeans and oily nuts, machines, and spare parts. The two countries aim to lift bilateral trade to 10 billion USD in the next 10 years.

With 149 projects worth 5.28 billion USD, Canada is ranked 14th out of 112 countries and territories investing in Vietnam. Major Canadian-funded projects in Vietnam include the 4.2 billion USD Ho Tram tourism complex in Ba Ria – Vung Tau, a 220 million USD hospital in Hai Duong, and a 74.4 million USD wind power project in Ninh Thuan.

Since 1990, Canada has to date provided 800 million USD in official development assistance for Vietnam to help the country carry out economic reform, alleviate poverty, boost agriculture, and protect the environment. Total value of valid projects using ODA from Canada amounts to more than 60 million CAD.    

The number of Vietnamese students in Canada doubled in the past 10 years to 5,000, surpassing the figures of their peers from other ASEAN member states. Canada is hosting approximately 250,000 Vietnamese expatriates.

In terms of security – defence, the two countries have focused on delegation exchanges, cooperation at international and regional forums, military and English training, anti-terrorism, humanitarian aid and immigration.

Collaboration between localities, such as Ha Tinh and Langley, Ho Chi Minh City and Toronto, and Da Nang and Vancouver, is also a highlight in bilateral relations.-VNA