At the forum, Premier of Ontario Kathleen Wynne highlighted Vietnam’s economic growth and sound development of bilateral relations between the two countries and Canadian businesses' effective operations in Vietnam.
Ontario has welcomed numerous Vietnamese business delegations seeking investment and cooperation opportunities in health care, infrastructure, and aviation. She expressed her hope that bilateral cooperation will expand to many other fields in the future.
Vietnamese Ambassador, Nguyen Duc Hoa, affirmed that the two countries can foster collaboration in diverse fields. Canada already exports many products to Vietnam, ranging from agricultural and seafood products, softwood, pharmaceuticals, wine, maritime services, to hi-tech and clean technologies.
Vice versa, plenty of Vietnamese products are now available in the Canadian market. However, trade between the countries is still some way off its potential due to a limited understanding of each other’s markets and investment policies.
The Ambassador said the forum offers a chance for businesses from both sides to develop and consider creative solutions, and new initiatives and business strategies.
The main speakers at the forum gave presentations on the opportunities and challenges for Canadian businesses operating in Vietnam.
Former Canadian Ambassador to Vietnam, David Devine, said the two countries have vast potential to enhance cooperation in education and other fields. However, there are many challenges for Canadian businesses, such as language barrier, cultural differences, the investment environment, market, administrative procedures, and trading methods.
To achieve success, Canadian businesses should look to partnership opportunities with Vietnamese associates, said Mr Devine.
The forum also discussed support services for Canadian exporters, and export prospects for multinational businesses and SMEs.
The event took place two weeks before Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit to Vietnam to attend the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in Da Nang.
Bilateral trade turnover between Vietnam and Canada has grown impressively in recent years, and nearly reached US$5 billion last year. However, the results are below the potential expected by both sides. The forum and the upcoming visit of the Canadian Prime Minister are expected to open up more opportunities for broader trade relations.
Premier of Ontario Kathleen Wynne is scheduled to lead a business delegation to visit Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City from December 3-6 to cultivate business and investment ties.