Vietnam’s economy offers many chances for Canadian firms: workshop hinh anh 1Speakers at the workshop held by the Toronto administration and the Canada-Vietnam Trade Council in Toronto city on February 10 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – A workshop was held in Toronto city on February 10 to discuss opportunities for Canadian businesses in Vietnam after one year the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) took effect.

Robert Cameron, Regional Manager for Asia at the Export Development Canada (EDC), said with demographic advantages and the growing middle class, the Vietnamese economy brings about numerous opportunities to Canadian businesses.

He noted such agencies as the EDC and the Trade Commissioner Service, part of Global Affairs Canada, could play an important role in assisting companies to enter new markets and helping with their business process.

Within the CPTPP framework, opportunities for Canadian businesses cover a wide range of fields, from aviation, information technology – telecommunications, to farm produce and mining.

In 2019, Vietnam remained the largest trade partner of Canada in Southeast Asia with bilateral trade estimated at 7.8 billion CAD (5.98 billion USD).

At the workshop, participants pointed out the potential for bilateral cooperation in finance amid Vietnam’s imports of financial services reaching 523 million USD in 2018.

Vietnam’s investment in transport infrastructure, an area the North American nation has many strengths in, is expected to hit 11 billion USD in 2020 and 17 billion USD in 2025. This is considered a “fertile land” that businesses of both countries should enhance tapping into.

Meanwhile, education continues to be a highlight in bilateral relations. With more than 20,000 students, Vietnam ranks first in Southeast Asia and fifth in the world in terms of foreign students in Canada.

Canadian representatives also emphasised emerging cooperation chances in renewable energy and waste management as Vietnam is striving to cope with climate change.

Julie Nguyen, Director of the Canada-Vietnam Trade Council, said the workshop attracted great attention from the Canadian Government, the administration of Ontario province and especially, Canadian enterprises since they realise a number of chances for them in Vietnam, a country with a stable and fast growing economy.

Within the framework of the cooperation deal between Toronto and Ho Chi Minh City, the Canada-Vietnam Trade Council is working with Toronto authorities to organise a trip for Toronto companies to explore the HCM City market.

Notably, Ontario province’s exports to Vietnam between January and November 2019 increased by 17.8 percent year on year, she noted.

The CPTPP has come into force in seven countries, namely Canada, Australia, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam. The remainders - Peru, Malaysia, Chile and Brunei- are working to ratify the agreement.

The deal forms one of the world’s biggest trading blocs with a combined population of 505 million and the total gross domestic product (GDP) of 10.6 trillion USD, equivalent to some 13 percent of the global GDP./.