Sat, 08/26/2023 - 12:13
Vietnam-Canada relations enjoy “quantum leaps”: Ambassador
Hanoi, August 26 (VNA) – Vietnam and Canada have seen “quantum leaps” in their relationship over the past five decades, Canadian Ambassador Shawn Perry Steil has affirmed. Talking to the press on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic ties (1973-2023), the diplomat said the relationship has evolved in an “interesting way”. Apart from the establishment of the diplomatic relations in 1973, the opening of the Canadian and Vietnamese embassies in respective countries and the formation of the comprehensive partnership on the occasion of the official visit to Vietnam by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in November 2017 are major milestones in the relationship, which challenge both countries to boost their cooperation even further, according to the ambassador. Steil said that the early days of cooperation focused on development assistance, mainly poverty reduction. Since Vietnam’s economy started to grow, Canada has provided support to its small and women-led businesses. Such efforts paid off as Vietnam has become Canada’s largest trade partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), he said, emphasising the “thriving partnership” and “extremely gratifying” trade between the two countries. The ambassador also mentioned the establishment of the Canada-Vietnam Joint Economic Committee (JEC) on January 10, 2022, a mechanism that provides an opportunity to discuss current and emerging trade issues. Since the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), to which both Vietnam and Canada are signatories, came into force in 2018, Vietnam’s export to Canada has grown rapidly, he said, adding that Vietnamese products like seafood, fruits, furniture, shoes, clothing and electronics are finding an enormous market in Canada. The diplomat called people-to-people exchange the foundation of the bilateral relationship, which has helped facilitate trade and education cooperation between the two countries. Given that Vietnam is working hard to raise living standards for everyone, Canada is also working with the Vietnamese Government and community-based organisations to ensure that all people fully benefit from the rapid economic growth and that social inclusion forms part of the Southeast Asian nation’s development, he continued. Notably, Canada has supported Vietnam in clean transition and environmental protection, providing the country with technical assistance and policy consultation to reduce plastic waste. Canada is a member of the Just Energy Transition Partnership and through that partnership, it is elevating assistance to support Vietnam in not only increasing renewable energy production, but also looking at increasing the capacity to store energy, which is important for renewables, and to improve transmission, he said. “We're particularly excited about supporting carbon pricing in Vietnam. The Vietnamese Government has a plan to pilot carbon pricing by 2025 and have a national carbon market by 2028. Canada is one of Vietnam's closest partners in supporting options to pursue this goal,” the diplomat added. “I believe that the next quantum leap for Vietnam and Canada will be a partnership for the benefit of the world. How can we carry forward this strong partnership and understanding that we've developed to contribute to the rules-based international order and respect for international law? How can we work together to foster more peace and stability in ASEAN and Indo Pacific and beyond?” Lauding Vietnam’s increasing role in the region and the world at large partially thanks to its economic growth, as well as its “remarkable” international integration, the ambassador noted that Vietnam has been a critical partner and supporter to help Canada achieve a strategic partnership with ASEAN. /.