Celebrating 50 Years of Friendship and Partnership: Vietnam-Canada Relations

At the 50th anniversary celebration for the diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Canada on the evening of August 21 in Ho Chi Minh City, Consul General of Canada Behzad Babakhani remarked, "It has been 50 years since Canada and Vietnam first established diplomatic ties. Let's take a look at how far we've come in that time."

50 Years of Vietnam-Canadian Relations: Trusted Friend, Close Partner
At the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Canada, the Department of External Relations (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and CanCham signed a Memorandum of Understanding. Photo: WVR

Consul General Behzad Babakhani emphasized that after 50 years of diplomatic relations, Vietnam-Canada relations have flourished in various areas, including politics, diplomacy, economy and trade, and cooperation in international affairs.

Since the establishment of the comprehensive partnership in 2017, the economic relations between the two countries have rapidly and steadily developed.

Vietnam is currently Canada’s largest trading partner in ASEAN. Canada imports approximately US$11 billion worth of products from Vietnam annually, making it one of Vietnam’s top 10 export markets.

Vietnam’s main exports to Canada include textiles, footwear, aquatic products, computers, means of transport, and spare parts.

In 2022 alone, Canada’s exports to Vietnam increased by nearly 40%.

Vietnam’s main imports from Canada include wheat, soybeans, fertilizers, animal feed and other raw materials, machinery, equipment, tools, and spare parts.

In terms of investment activities, as of July 2023, Canada has directly invested in Vietnam through 253 projects with a total registered capital of US$4.84 billion. Moreover, Canada’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) to Vietnam has amounted to approximately CAD2 billion (US$1.4 billion) since 1990.

Consul General Behzad Babakhani highlighted Canada’s significant contributions to international efforts, including the ongoing collaboration to combat the global pandemic.

Canada’s leading role in addressing climate change was also recognized, with Consul General Behzad Babakhani explaining that environmental protection is a top priority for Canada and many of Vietnam’s friends.

The Canadian Consul General expressed confidence in the future of the Vietnam-Canada relationship, envisioning both countries as reliable friends and close partners for the next 50 years. He acknowledged the importance of initiatives like the Indo-Pacific Strategy and the efforts made by ambassadors and defenders of Canada-Vietnam relations.

50 Years of Vietnam-Canadian Relations: Trusted Friend, Close Partner
Consul General of Canada Behzad Babakhani. Photo: thanhnien

On the same day, the Consulate General of Canada in Ho Chi Minh City and the Canada-ASEAN Business Council organized the Canada-Vietnam Clean Energy Partnership Forum, where experts discussed several cooperation solutions in the field of clean energy.

For example, Canada has implemented efficient CO2 storage projects, such as the Aquistore project at the Boundary Dam Power Station in Saskatchewan province.

Vietnamese experts have recognized the challenges in developing and applying carbon capture, use, storage, and recycling (CCUS) technology in Vietnam, including the need for large-scale testing and pilot programs with high investment capital.

To support Vietnam’s green transition, Canada will mobilize approximately US$15.5 billion from the private sector and government over the next 3-5 years. This financial assistance falls within the framework of the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP), which Vietnam signed with the Group of Seven (G7).

In another event, Consul General Babakhani, along with representatives from the Vietnamese government, organizations, and units, donated scholarships to 1,400 disadvantaged children and exemplary students from both countries at the Zoo and Botanical Garden in Ho Chi Minh City on August 20.

During the event, the Consulate General of Canada and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Vietnam (CanCham) presented the Inukshuk statue, symbolizing the close and enduring friendship between the two countries.

Rosie Nguyen