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Canada established diplomatic relations with Vietnam in 1973, opening an Embassy in Hanoi in 1994 and a Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City in 1995. Our countries are marking the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties in 2023. In 2017, a Canada-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership was formally established. The partnership identifies a number of areas for cooperation: political and diplomatic; trade and investment; development cooperation; defence and security; cultural and academic exchange; science, technology and innovation; and people-to-people ties.
In Vietnam, Canada is represented by the Embassy of Canada in Hanoi and the Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City. In Canada, Vietnam is represented by the Embassy of Vietnam and a Trade Office in Ottawa, as well as a Consulate General in Vancouver.
Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy, launched in November 2022, provides greater opportunities to deepen relations and enhance cooperation with Vietnam.
Vietnam is Canada’s largest trading partner in ASEAN. In 2022, two-way merchandise trade between Canada and Vietnam totaled $13.8 billion, up from $10.5 billion in 2021 and $8.9 billion in 2020, comprised mainly of imports from Vietnam (approximately 93% of the total). Canada’s merchandise exports to Vietnam in 2022 were approximately $901 million, up from $660 million in 2021.
The priority sectors in Vietnam for Canadian commercial interests are: agriculture and agri-food, education, information and communication technologies, clean technology, infrastructure, aerospace, forestry and wood products, and life sciences.
Vietnam has been a member of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) since January 2019, a free trade agreement between Canada, and 10 other countries including: Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and newly acceded U.K. Under the Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy and the CPTPP, Vietnam is an economic partner that plays an important role in advancing Canada’s trade diversification efforts in the region.
Canada is negotiating a free trade agreement (FTA) with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), of which Vietnam is a member. For more information, please refer to the Canada-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement page.
Canada-Vietnam Joint Economic Committee (JEC)
Canada is committed to pursuing new opportunities to deepen trade and economic cooperation with Vietnam. On January 10, 2022, Canada and Vietnam established the Canada-Vietnam Joint Economic Committee (JEC). The JEC is a non-legally binding mechanism dedicated to advancing trade and economic cooperation between Canada and Vietnam. This mechanism, which is co-chaired at the Deputy Minister level, provides an ongoing opportunity to discuss current and emerging trade and commercial issues. The JEC is a key contribution to stronger economic and trade ties between Canada and Vietnam, and a key component of the Comprehensive Partnership. Canada and Vietnam held the inaugural meeting of the JEC in Vancouver on July 6, 2022.
Canada has been a partner in Vietnam’s development for more than 30 years. Since 1990, Canada has contributed approximately $1.8 billion in international assistance to support Vietnam’s development and poverty reduction efforts.
In alignment with Vietnam’s 2021 to 2030 Socio-Economic Development Strategy and its National Action Plan for the implementation of the 2030 sustainable development agenda, Canada’s development assistance objective in Vietnam is to reduce poverty and inequality by supporting growth that works for everyone, gender equality and women’s economic empowerment. Through our work, Canada enables small and medium sized businesses, especially in rural areas, to participate more effectively in global value chains. Canada is helping to integrate women and women-owned enterprises into supply chains, to foster a gender-responsive working environment, and to reduce the unpaid care burden for women. Canada is also supporting Vietnam’s climate objectives through climate smart agriculture, renewable energy, and energy efficient technologies, and is supporting biodiversity conservation and climate smart coastal communities. Through Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy, Canada will contribute to Vietnam’s transition to more renewable and sustainable energy sources, and support Vietnam’s commitments to strengthen inclusive governance.
Defence and security
Defence and security relations have strengthened considerably since Canada and Vietnam signed Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) on Defence Cooperation in 2019 and on their membership to the Military Training and Cooperation Program (MTCP) in 2018. These documents institutionalized regular senior-level dialogues, as well as continued co-operation in peacekeeping, maritime security, and humanitarian assistance and disaster response. A Defence Attaché Office was opened in Hanoi in 2020. In September 2023, a UN Peacekeeping Cooperation MOU was signed during Deputy Minister Chien’s visit to Ottawa for the Defence Policy Dialogue. Under Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy, Vietnam is a priority partner for military-to-military capacity building, including in the area of Women, Peace and Security.
A new Canada Border Services Agency office also opened in 2022 in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to further strengthen cooperation in areas of joint border management.
Partnerships and organizations
To develop effective responses to today’s most pressing global challenges, Canada and Vietnam work closely in multilateral fora, such as:
- Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
- Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
- La Francophonie
- International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
- United Nations (UN)
- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
- World Trade Organization (WTO)
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