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Vietnam represent largest Canadian trading partner in ASEAN

Canadian Ambassador to Vietnam Deborah Paul

Canadian Ambassador to Vietnam Deborah Paul told Vietnam News Agency in a recent interview that Vietnam remains the most significant trading partner of Canada in ASEAN, noting their two-way trade hit approximately CAD9.5 billion (US$7.46 billion) over the January – November period last year.

Both countries maintained regular exchanges, including a meeting between Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Minh Chinh at COP26 last November in the UK.

Late July saw Vietnamese Deputy Defence Minister Sen. Lieut. Gen Hoang Xuan Chien and his Canadian counterpart Jody Thomas co-chair the first Vietnam – Canada online dialogue on defence policy, during which both sides reached an agreement on a three-year plan on defence co-operation

Ambassador Paul said she is proud of the strong ties between the two countries which are highlighted through bilateral educational co-operation and exchanges.

Since December 2020, almost 19,000 Vietnamese citizens have been granted permits to study in the North American country.

Canada strives to promote cultural diplomacy in Vietnam through the screening of Canadian films, along with organising exchange events with Canadian artists.

The Ambassador highly appreciated Vietnam’s COVID-19 control efforts, saying, saying the government swiftly took decisive steps to limit both the health and economic fallout. She also singled out Vietnam for contributing funds to COVAX to roll out vaccines globally.

According to the diplomat, Canada recently contributed CAD3 million (US$2.35 million) to support the project “Leveraging Vietnam’s social impact business ecosystem in response to COVID-19”, also known as ISEE-COVID.

This project will enable many socially-conscious businesses and women-focused firms to respond to the impact of COVID-19 by offering vulnerable people and the poor both jobs and livelihoods.

Canada also recently approved a project on “Advancing Women’s Economic Empowerment in Vietnam” providing CAD4.4 million (US$3.46 million) for Care Canada and Care Vietnam to implement the project between 2021 and 2024.

The Ambassador noted that Canada will also prioritise engagement with the private sector in order to leverage private sector resources to help achieve sustainable development goals.

Theo VOV

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