Pham Vinh Quang Says There Is Potential for Increased Vietnam-Canada Cooperation

Ambassador Pham Vinh Quang has opined that the strong partnership between Vietnam and Canada has flourished over the past half-century and that there are still many opportunities for closer collaboration.

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Ambassador Pham Vinh Quang: Room For Vietnam-Canada Bilateral Cooperation
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh meets Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the sidelines of the G7 Hiroshima Summit, Japan, in May 2023. Photo: VGP

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Canada (August 21, 1973-August 21, 2023), Vietnamese Ambassador to Canada Pham Vinh Quang highlighted the achievements of the relationship between the two countries as well as the future cooperation prospects.

Comprehensive cooperation in all fields

According to Ambassador Pham Vinh Quang, Vietnam and Canada have long-standing ties. The late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau once supported the movement against the war in Vietnam and established diplomatic relations with Vietnam.

Over the past fifty years, the two countries have developed sustainable relations and achieved significant milestones. In 2017, they upgraded their relationship to a comprehensive partnership, collaborating in various fields.

In the political and diplomatic sphere, high-level delegations from both countries regularly exchange visits. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Vietnam, leading to the establishment of a comprehensive partnership. Vietnamese Prime Minister also attended the G7 Summit in Canada in 2018.

Vietnam and Canada share common perspectives on regional and international issues. Both countries engage in an annual political dialogue mechanism at the deputy minister level.

In addition to state diplomacy, there have been increased exchanges through Party and National Assembly channels as well as people-to-people interactions. The Vietnam-Canada Parliamentary Friendship Group was established in 2021, and the Canada-Vietnam Parliamentary Friendship Group was formed in 2022.

Trade and investment cooperation are the top priorities for both countries. Vietnam is Canada’s largest trading partner in ASEAN, while Canada is Vietnam’s second-largest trading partner in the Americas after the US.

Bilateral trade turnover has consistently achieved double-digit growth, reaching US$7 billion in 2022 (according to Canadian statistics, this figure is US$13 billion, including goods transited through the US).

By the end of 2022, Canada ranked 14th out of 130 countries and territories investing in Vietnam, with nearly 250 projects worth nearly US$5 billion. Vietnam has also invested in Canada, reaching US$150 million, accounting for 47.5% of Vietnam’s total investment capital abroad.

Vietnam and Canada actively cooperate in multilateral forums. They work together within ASEAN, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Francophonie, and United Nations frameworks, allowing for close collaboration on multilateral issues.

Room for cooperation

Ambassador Pham Vinh Quang: Room For Vietnam-Canada Bilateral Cooperation
Vietnam is Canada’s largest trading partner in ASEAN, while Canada is Vietnam’s second-largest trading partner in the Americas.

Ambassador Pham Vinh Quang emphasized that despite achieving many milestones in the past 50 years, there is still untapped potential between Vietnam and Canada.

In terms of political and diplomatic cooperation, both countries share common perspectives on regional and international issues.

Both Vietnam and Canada aspire to build a peaceful, stable, and developed Asia-Pacific region based on the observance of international law principles such as the Charter of the United Nations (UN) and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982.

They also aim to establish order, rules, and regulations in the seas, including the East Sea.

In terms of economy, trade, and investment, Canada, as a member of the Group of Seven (G7), is the 14th largest economy in the world. Meanwhile, Vietnam, with about 100 million people, offers a developing economy and a skilled workforce.

Vietnam is a valuable market for foreign investments and serves as a gateway for Canada to enter ASEAN and the Asia-Pacific market.

Vietnam can leverage Canada’s strengths in advanced science and technology to support its industrialization, infrastructure development, green economy, clean energy, energy transition, and climate change response.

Bringing cooperation to the next level

Ambassador Pham Vinh Quang believes that 2023 is a momentous year as both countries celebrate the 50th anniversary of their cooperative relationship.

This presents an opportunity to reflect on the past and organize activities that contribute to the effective development of bilateral relations in line with the goal of a comprehensive partnership between Vietnam and Canada.

The Vietnamese Embassy in Canada and the Vietnamese Consulate General in Vancouver have planned a series of events for 2023.

These events will be associated with activities organized by Vietnamese ministries and sectors in Vietnam, as well as events organized by the Canadian Embassy in Hanoi in collaboration with the Canadian Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City.

The Vietnamese Embassy in Canada plans to hold an official celebration in Ottawa, with the participation of officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Canadian ministries and branches, and the Vietnamese community.

Ambassador Pham Vinh Quang: Room For Vietnam-Canada Bilateral Cooperation
Taste of Vietnam Festival held in Toronto. Photo: WVR

The Embassy will also coordinate the organization of “Vietnamese Culture Day” in several major Canadian cities to showcase Vietnam’s economic, cultural, and social achievements, as well as its national cultural identity.

Supporting activities related to tourism, food, and forums for Vietnamese students will also be organized to enhance Canadians’ understanding of Vietnam.

Ambassador Pham Vinh Quang hopes that through these activities in 2023, Vietnam and Canada can further promote bilateral cooperation to a higher level.

Rosie Nguyen