Vietnam-Canada growing ties

Vietnam is Canada’s largest trade partner in Southeast Asia

In June 2018, Canada hosted the G7 summit in La Malbaie, Quebec. As part of the summit, the Canadian government invited Vietnam’s Prime Minister (PM) Nguyen Xuan Phuc to participate in an “Expanded G7” meeting. The PM’s visit came at a time when Vietnam’s and Canada’s trade and political ties were already strong (Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau visited Vietnam in November 2017). [The G7 member countries are Vietnam’s major trade partners].

When Canadians think of Vietnam, according to Eric Miller of ‘The Globe and Mail’, “...images of its 10,000-day war and the refugee crisis that followed come to mind”. However, the author notices major changes that have happened in Vietnam in the recent times.

The main observation mentioned was Vietnam’s steady integration into the global economy, followed by the creation of a world-class manufacturing base and continuously implemented market-oriented policies.

Furthermore, Signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is seen as a major step towards Vietnam economy’s transformation. This trade deal will help further deepening of economic ties with Canada, who is also a participating economy in CPTPP. According to Mr. Miller: “CPTPP will accelerate Vietnam’s journey toward middle-income status while speeding up the outflow of global manufacturing from China to Vietnam. Output in sectors from furniture to footwear is already surging.“

Other major changes in Vietnam

  • Since 2008, Vietnam’s GDP growth has not fallen below 5%, and in the last 3 years, it was not lower than 6%. At the end of 2017, and in the first half of 2018, GDP grew more than 7%.
  • In 2017, PwC forecasted that Vietnam will be the fastest-growing majoreconomy until 2050, averaging 5.1% GDP growth. If this trajectory comes true, Vietnam will become the world’s 20th largest economy.
  • Vietnam government’s continuous reforms, especially related to improving the ease of doing business, making the regulatory process more efficient and transparent, and streamlining the delivery of public services.

Vietnam-Canada ties in numbers

  • Vietnam is Canada’s number 1 trade partner in Southeast Asia.
  • Exports from Canada to Vietnam increased 100% in 2017.
  • There are more than 240,000 Vietnamese-Canadians living in Canada.
  • Over the past 3 years, number of Vietnamese studying in Canada increased 3 times, to over 15,000 students.

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