Vietnam an Indo-Pacific priority of Canada: Official

Export Development Canada (EDC) is planning to open an innovation office in Ho Chi Minh City this autumn as Vietnam is one of the priority countries in the Indo-Pacific region of the North American nation, said an EDC official.

Talking to the Vietnam News Agency (VNA)’s resident correspondent in Ottawa, Nathan Andrew Nelson, Chief Representative and Vietnam & Innovation Director for the Indo-Pacific region of the EDC, said the EDC aims to enhance trade between the two countries.

He mentioned an investment of about 2 billion USD and considered this a trade opportunity for Canadian companies to invest in all fields in Vietnam.

Vietnam is currently the biggest trading partner of Canada in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Bilateral trade has continually grown by over 50% since 2015 and reached some 10 billion USD in 2023, statistics showed.

Vietnam is also an important partner of Canada under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) as it offers numerous chances for Canadian products and services to access its market as well as others in ASEAN, Nelson said.

He noted Vietnam is one of the priority countries in the Indo-Pacific region of Canada, and that it will become a bright star in the next 5-10 years.

Nelson expressed his excitement at the opportunities Canadian companies can have in Vietnam, adding he also looks forwards to Vietnamese firms who really wish to invest in Canada so that the two sides can gain opportunities for cooperation and mutual assistance.

A delegation of 150 leading businesses of Canada led by Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development Mary Ng is scheduled to visit Vietnam next month. The trip is said to foster the two countries’ comprehensive partnership and expand Canada’s presence in the ASEAN region.

The minister had previously said that the coming trip will provide momentum for Canadian companies’ operations in such dynamic markets as Vietnam.

Tran Thu Quynh, Trade Counsellor at the Vietnamese Embassy in Canada, said this will be the first time Canada sends such a large business delegation to Vietnam. Aside from seeking business partnership chances, they will also engage in roundtable dialogues with executives of local firms.

She voiced her belief that the Canadian delegation will see Vietnam as a business partner, an investment destination, and a gateway for the North American country to enter ASEAN.