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Canadian PM Trudeau to pay official visit

Released at: 16:42, 07/11/2017

Canadian PM Trudeau to pay official visit

PM Justin Trudeau (Source: The Forward)

Official visit to take place prior to his attendance at the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting.

by My Van

The Prime Minister of Canada, Mr. Justin Trudeau, will visit Vietnam on November 8 and 9.

The trip provides an opportunity for the Prime Minister to meet with partners in the Asia-Pacific region and promote a progressive trade agenda that creates good, middle class jobs and more opportunities for people on both sides of the Pacific during the 2017 APEC Economic Leaders’ Week hosted by Vietnam.

 In Hanoi, he will meet with State President Tran Dai Quang, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Chair of the National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, and Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong.

The  Canadian Prime Minister will then head to Ho Chi Minh City, where he will meet with Vietnamese business leaders and participate in an armchair discussion at Ton Duc Thang University. Finally, he will travel to Da Nang to attend the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, where he will promote Canada as a partner of choice for trade and investment in the region and deepen economic cooperation with APEC economies.

He said that Canada and Vietnam’s relationship is anchored in strong people-to-people connections and has expanded greatly over the last 40 years. “I look forward to meeting with Vietnamese leaders to advance important issues like good governance and human rights, strengthen our trade and investment cooperation, and create more opportunities for our middle class,” he said.

Vietnam and Canada established diplomatic ties in 1973 and began exchange of high-ranking delegations since 1994. 

In September 2014, the Vietnamese and Canadian ministers of foreign affairs signed a letter of intent on boosting bilateral relations. In July 2017, their first political consultation at deputy-foreign-minister level was held in Canada. Exchange of high-ranking officials between the sides has been increased, as has cooperation in politics-diplomacy, economics-trade, and education-training.

Vietnam is currently Canada’s biggest trade partner in Southeast Asia and a prioritised market in Canada's Global Markets Action Plan. Bilateral trade in recent years grew about 20 – 25 per cent on average, hitting $4.1 billion in 2016 and  $2.34 billion  in the first eight months of 2017. Vietnam mainly exported to Canada machines, electronic devices, woodwork products, apparel, and footwear, while importing from the country fertilizers, soybeans and oily nuts, machines, and spare parts. The two countries aim to lift bilateral trade to $10 billion in the next 10 years.

With 149 projects worth $5.28 billion, Canada is ranked 14th out of 112 countries and territories investing in Vietnam. Major Canadian-funded projects in Vietnam include the $4.2 billion  Ho Tram tourism complex in Ba Ria – Vung Tau, a $220 million  hospital in Hai Duong, and a $74.4 million  wind power project in Ninh Thuan.

Since 1990, Canada has to date provided $800 million  in official development assistance for Vietnam to help the country carry out economic reform, alleviate poverty, boost agriculture, and protect the environment. Total value of valid projects using ODA from Canada amounts to more than CAD60 million.    

The number of Vietnamese students in Canada doubled in the past 10 years to 5,000, surpassing the figures of their peers from other ASEAN member states. Canada is hosting approximately 250,000 Vietnamese expatriates.

In terms of security – defence, the two countries have focused on delegation exchanges, cooperation at international and regional forums, military and English training, anti-terrorism, humanitarian aid and immigration.

Collaboration between localities, such as Ha Tinh and Langley, Ho Chi Minh City and Toronto, and Da Nang and Vancouver, is also a highlight in bilateral relations.

After the Economic Leaders’ Meeting, he will travel to the Philippines to attend the 31st ASEAN Summit in Manila. He will also take part in the Canada-ASEAN Commemorative Summit to review relations between Canada and the ten ASEAN member countries and identify areas where collaboration can be increased.

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