On the occasion of the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relation between Vietnam and Canada in 2018, Vietnam’s Ambassador to Canada Nguyen Duc Hoa shared his memory on many significant high level delegation exchanges.
Vietnamese Ambassador to Canada Nguyen Duc Hoa
In 1994, Prime Minister Jean Chretien became the first Canadian prime minister and the first prime minister of a Western country to visit Vietnam. The bilateral relationship in the 1990s expanded across many areas with stronger cooperation and friendship.
In the years after, despite no longer holding any official position in the Canadian government, Jean Chretien maintained a special bond with Vietnam. He came back to Vietnam several times and significantly contributed to the relations between the two countries.
In 2005, the then Prime Minister of Vietnam Phan Van Khai paid an official visit to Canada, marking another milestone in the Vietnam - Canada bilateral relations. On this occasion, the “Vietnam House” was inaugurated and became a cultural destination for many visitors during annual festivals in Ottawa.
In 2010, the then Chairman of Vietnam National Assembly Nguyen Phu Trong visited Canada and attended the G-20 Parliamentary Leaders’ Consultative Meeting – a multilateral parliamentary event, paving the way for a new channel of cooperation between the Parliaments of the two countries. The bilateral parliamentary relations since then have been strengthened.
In November 2017, Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau paid an official visit to Vietnam and attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting in Da Nang.
On this occasion, the two countries established the Comprehensive Partnership Framework which covers a wide range of areas of cooperation, including political, economic, trade, investment, development, security and defense, science and technology, education, culture, people-to-people exchange, etc.
In June 2018, at the invitation of the Canadian government, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc visited Canada and attended the G-7 Leaders’ Outreach Session, setting another important turning point in the bilateral relations. The success of the visit is a vivid expression of Canada’s acknowledgement of Vietnam’s international standing, as well as of the two countries’ political will in implementing the Comprehensive Partnership Framework in a practical, effective and mutuallybeneficial way.
According to Ambassador Nguyen Duc Hoa, the bilateral relations in trade, investment, development cooperation, culture, education, science and technology have been growing significantly in the recent years. The two-waytrade turnover in the period of 2013 – 2017 increased almost 2.4 times, reaching CAD $6.2 billion in 2017.
Vietnam is currently Canada’s largest trading partner among ASEAN nations. Canada ranks 14th
among 112 nations and territories investing in Vietnam with projects in diverse areas, including manufacturing, real estate, health care.
Canadian corporations such as Manulife, Sun Life Financial, National Bank of Canada, Aeroport de Montreal are important partners of the Vietnamese business community. Trade and economic interests are becoming progressively intertwined; cooperation in culture, education, science and technology, tourism, defense, etc. is increasingly growing; people-to-people ties are expanding in multiple ways. Furthermore, the Vietnamese community of up to 240,000 people and nearly 15,000 Vietnamese students in Canada are playing a crucial role in fostering an ever closer and lasting relationship of cooperation and frienship between the two countries.
“Building on the long-standing political relationship that has been forging over the past 45 years, particularly the establishment of the Comprehensive Partnership Framework and multilateral cooperation frameworks that both countries are members of, including the United Nations, the World Trade Organization (WTO), La Francophonie, APEC and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), we strongly believe in a bright future of the Vietnam – Canada Comprehensive Partnership and join hand in nurturing a mutual benefit and effective relationship,” Ambassador Nguyen Duc Hoa said.
Regarding to the Canadian side, former Canadian Ambassador to Vietnam Ping Kitnikone pointed out that since 1990, Canada has disbursed over CAD$1.5 billion in official development assistance to support Vietnam’s poverty reduction and sustainable growth efforts in areas such as the development of SMEs, co-operative and agricultural value chains, banking, legislative formulation and technical and vocational education and training, while working with journalists to strengthen their participation in public policy making.
Moreover, since 2015, Vietnam has been Canada’s largest trading partner in ASEAN, and there are tremendous opportunities that exist to further trade and economic relationship with the implementation of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
The ambassador also appreciates the multi-dimensional relationship between the two countries and look forward to exploring new opportunities for partnerships and growth.