The signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in Chile on March 8 will open up many opportunities for trade between Canada and Vietnam, President and CEO of the Asia-Pacific Foundation of Canada (APF), Mr. Stewart Beck, was quoted by the Vietnam News Agency as saying.

From Mr. Beck’s point of view, the CPTPP is very important to Canada, as it gives it unlimited access to the Japanese market and other markets of potential such as Vietnam and Singapore, with which Canada is yet to have a bilateral free trade agreement.

He said the deal would give Canada certain advantages in the Vietnamese market, and through Vietnam help it enter ASEAN. 

According to Mr. Beck, Canadian people and businesses have come to realize that Vietnam is a market of potential thanks to publicity campaigns about the CPTPP. He expressed his belief that after two or three years of enforcement, the agreement will help further bilateral cooperation in fields of importance to both countries.

Having visited Vietnam several times to push the implementation of the Women’s Initiative for Startups and Entrepreneurship (WISE), sponsored by the Canadian Consulate General in Vietnam and the APF, he believes many fields have great potential for bilateral cooperation after the CPTPP officially takes effect.

Vietnam will be able to increase the export of seafood and other goods to Canada, he said, and technology and services are also promising fields.

The Canadian side hopes that with the official signing of the CPTPP and considering its large Vietnamese community and increasing numbers of Vietnamese students in Canada, more opportunities for bilateral affiliations will be opened up based on cultural and educational bridges, he said.

The CPTPP was officially signed at a ceremony chaired by Chilean President Micelle Bachelet, with trade ministers from the eleven member countries - Australia, Brunei, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, Japan, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam - putting pen to paper.

The ambitious deal came after the US pulled out the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement last year. It sets high criteria in numerous fields, including labor, the environment, intellectual property, the digital economy, and cyber security.

The pact will create one of the world’s largest free trade blocs, with a combined market of 499 million people and GDP of around $10.1 trillion, accounting for 13.5 per cent of global GDP.