Vietnam holds leading role in ASEAN for Canadian businesses hinh anh 1Vietnam-Canada trade value exceeds 6 billion USD last year, up 19 percent compared to 2020. Illustrative image (Photo: VNA) 
Ottawa (VNA) – Professor Julie Dai Trang Nguyen (Julie Nguyen), director of the Canada-Vietnam Society (CVS), highlighted the importance of Vietnam to Canadian businesses during talks at the Standing Committee on International Trade under the House of Commons of Canada on April 27.

Since 2015, Vietnam has maintained its position as Canada's largest trading partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region, she said.

Trade turnover between Canada and Vietnam exceeded 6 billion USD last year, up 19 percent compared to 2020.

According to Professor Nguyen, trade diversification is important for the Canadian economy and drives the need for Ottawa to build strong relationships with Asian countries.

ASEAN - a trading bloc with a total population of 700 million and GDP of up to 5 trillion CAD - is currently Canada's sixth largest trading partner.

Bilateral trade between Canada and ASEAN reached 26.7 billion CAD in 2020, while services trade amounted to 5.8 billion CAD, she said, adding that these figures are expected to grow in the context that Canada has permanent diplomatic missions in all 10 ASEAN member countries.

Nguyen affirmed that Vietnam will be an important security partner in Canada's Indo-Pacific strategy, as both countries are committed to multilateralism, global security and combating climate change. She suggested that Canada could consider joining Vietnam's network of free trade agreements, which currently cover 60 economies representing 90 percent of the world's GDP.

During the hearing on trade opportunities for Canadian businesses in the Indo-Pacific, she also reiterated the fundamental factors of the long-standing relationship between Canada and Vietnam. Both countries are members of the Francophonie Community and participating in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), she said.

The Comprehensive Partnership Agreement between Vietnam and Canada was signed in 2017, and Vietnam has become one of the five top countries sending students to Canada since 2019.

Talking to the Vietnam News Agency correspondent in Ottawa, Nguyen - who is also Director of the Canada - Vietnam Trade Council, said she believes that cooperation between the two countries will continue to develop in all fields, especially trade, when Canada realises the growing importance of Vietnam and the Indo-Pacific region to the supply chain, and the long-term economic growth of Canada.

In the coming time, more events will be organised by the council aiming to provide information and facilitate trade and investment exchanges between the two countries, she said./.