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|Canada affirms strong trade ties with Vietnam (Photo: Vietnam Briefing)|
Hanoi - A comprehensive trade agreement between Canada and ASEAN will help Vietnam fully tap opportunities offered by free trade agreements and promote the positive impacts of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in areas of common interests, a Canadian official has said.
Kendal Hembroff, General Director for Trade Policy and Negotiations at the Global Affairs Canada (GAC), made the statement at a webinar hosted by the Canada-Vietnam Trade Council on October 1.
She highlighted strong trade ties between Canada and Vietnam, saying that these relations were built on the foundation of good people-to-people exchanges.
Vietnam is currently Canada's largest trading partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), with a two-way trade hitting 7.98 billion CAD (6.01 billion USD) in 2019.
After one year of implementing the CPTPP, Vietnam's export turnover to Canada increased by 29.7 percent, while Canada's export value to Vietnam also rose strongly, especially for meat and for cereal which recorded 230.7 and 61.2 percent growth.
Addressing the event, Vietnamese Ambassador to Canada Pham Cao Phong spotlighted the fact that while the world’s trade flows decreased sharply in the first six months of 2020, Vietnam-Canada trade still kept its upward trend though it grew just by 0.1 percent.
Vietnam is now in the top 10 importers of seafood from Canada, he said, with its advantage as a FTA “hub” in the Asia-Pacific, Vietnam will serve as a bridge to help Canadian goods and services access the 660 million-strong ASEAN market, as well as to other important markets in the region.
In return, Canada may be a gateway for Vietnamese products to penetrate other markets in America, Phong said.
Julie Nguyen, Director of the Canada-Vietnam Trade Council, said economic cooperation is becoming an issue of great concern of the two countries, especially when relevant parties are exploring the possibility of signing a Canada-ASEAN free trade agreement, and Vietnam is successfully taking over its role as ASEAN Chairman this year.
Canada along with four ASEAN countries, including Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei, are members of the CPTPP. The North American country and the bloc are implementing the Plan of Action within the Canada-ASEAN Joint Declaration on Trade and Investment.
In the context of Canada-ASEAN growing trade ties, Canadian experts said that it is necessary to establish a structure to facilitate growth and adapt to new trends and challenges in international trade and investment.
The Canada-ASEAN FTA is expected to lay a solid foundation for promoting commitments and cooperation between the two sides.