Author Elizabeth Mclninch, Director of the Canada-Vietnam Trade Council, lauded Vietnam’s outstanding economic achievements over the past years and affirmed that increased bilateral ties will open up huge opportunities in diverse areas.
The article said as Canada holds the G7 presidency for 2018 and hosts the G7 Summit from June 8-9, the country has a first-ever invitation to Vietnam. This is an acknowledgement of Vietnam's rising status on the world stage, and a fitting tribute by Canada to a bilateral relationship which this year records its 45th anniversary.
Devastated by the destruction of a long and tragic war that reduced it to one of the world's poorest nations 30 years ago, today Vietnam is the rising star of Southeast Asia, the article said, expressing impression on Vietnam’s growth of 7.38% in the first quarter of this year.
Highlighting outstanding results in manufacturing and exporting electronics, it said Vietnam is now an international production hub for smart phones and technological equipment. In Canada alone, imports of electrical machinery and equipment from Vietnam have soared 1,500% in the last five years.
With a population of 95 million, Vietnam is the world's 14th most populous country; 60% of the population is of working age and 70% is under 30. It is estimated that by 2020, the country will boast a consumer-conscious middle-class of some 35 million people. Contemporary Vietnam is entrepreneurial, tech-savvy, and highly connected, it said.
Vietnam is Canada's fastest-growing partner in East Asia with nearly US$6 billion worth of merchandise trade in 2017 and an average increase of up to 20% predicted over the next few years.
Canada is currently the 14th largest investor in Vietnam, with 149 projects totalling over US$5 billion. Vietnam ranks first in Southeast Asia and fifth globally as a source country for international students in Canada, with over 14,000 Vietnamese students studying here in 2017.
Canada’s high-tech products are in high demand such as machinery, bio-products, and chemicals. Vietnam's consumers have discovered Canadian lobster, king crab, and geoduck.
Overall, Canada's agricultural products amount to roughly 50% of exports to the country. Apart from wheat and cereals, huge opportunities exist for soybeans, animal food, genetics, and oilseeds.
Trudeau's official visit to Vietnam on the occasion of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting 2017 set a new milestone in Canada's bilateral relationship with Vietnam. The two countries’ leaders showed their determination to upgrade the relationship to new heights, furthering friendship and cooperation at many levels.
The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), to which both Canada and Vietnam were signatories in March this year, resets commercial relations in the Asia Pacific on a positive note.
In conclusion, the article said the future will be built on the hard work, energy, and daily commitment of Canadians and Vietnamese together. In trade and business, in the arts and sciences, in diplomacy, tourism, and international education, new partnerships will be critical to the future prosperity of both nations.