Vietnamese Ambassador to Canada Nguyen Duc Hoa speaks at the seminar in Ottawa on September 11 (Photo: VNA)

Ottawa (VNA) – New trade and investment opportunities in Vietnam were introduced to Canadian officials and businesses at a seminar in Ottawa on September 11.

The seminar marked the opening of Vietnam Week in Canada from September 11 to 17 to celebrate Vietnam’s 73rd National Day and 45 years of bilateral diplomatic ties.

It was attended by Donald Bobiash – Assistant Deputy Minister for Asia Pacific of Global Affairs of Canada, Kathleen Donohue – executive director at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ladislau Papara – Regional Manager for Asia at the Export Development Canada and Jacques Frémont – President of the University of Ottawa.

The Vietnamese side included Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien, Vietnamese Ambassador to Canada Nguyen Duc Hoa and Trade Counsellor Do Thu Huong.

At the event, Assistant Deputy Minister Bobiash said trade ties between the two countries have improved and have room to develop, especially once the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) takes effect.

He expressed his belief that Canada and Vietnam will become important markets of each other, particularly in agriculture, high technology and electronic products.

[Infographics: Vietnam: Canada’s largest trade partner in ASEAN]

He told Vietnam News Agency that Canada has products Vietnam needs, and Vietnam also has products his country wants. Vietnam is one of the fastest growing economies, so Canada really wants to invest in and trade with the Southeast Asian nation.

The implementation of the CPTPP will also help reduce barriers and increase business opportunities for the countries’ enterprises, the official added.

Ambassador Nguyen Duc Hoa said bilateral relations, with much potential and existing strengths, are on an upward trend. However, there remain challenges that need to be addressed, such as limited business connectivity and mutual understanding. He voiced his belief that through bilateral meetings and policy seminars, the two sides will expand substantive cooperation and investment opportunities.

Other participants noted the potential for educational cooperation, describing this as an important field helping facilitate connections in other aspects. They said through educational ties, the countries can enhance people-to-people and cultural exchange and understand more about each other’s regulations and policies to bolster relations.

In the future, the Canadian side will diversify educational cooperation activities such as increasing student exchange and collaboration among schools and academies, introducing Canada’s educational programmes to Vietnam, and partnering in research and development.

According to Bobiash, bilateral ties in education have grown fast in recent years, with an increasing number of Vietnamese students in Canada. There are more than 14,000 students from Vietnam in the North American country at present. –VNA