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Canada-Vietnam relations

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Bilateral relations

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. Canada is also represented by a Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City. In Canada, Vietnam is represented by the Embassy of Vietnam and a Trade Office in Ottawa, and a Consulate General in Vancouver.

Trade relations

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, aerospace, and life sciences.

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, will provide 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 an inaugural meeting of the JEC in Vancouver on July 6, 2022.

Vietnam has been a member of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) since January 2019, and is an economic partner that plays an important role in advancing Canada’s trade diversification efforts in the region.

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Canada has been a partner in Vietnam’s development for more than 30 years. Since 1990, Canada has contributed approximately $1.76 billion in international assistance to support Vietnam’s development and poverty reduction efforts, in close alignment with Vietnam’s strategic priorities. Canada and Vietnam’s strong partnership on development cooperation has contributed to poverty reduction and inclusive economic growth and has strengthened people-to-people ties.

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 efforts in Vietnam are supporting the country’s integration into the global economy. Canada’s development 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, we are supporting more inclusive policy and legislative development, entrepreneurship and small and medium-sized enterprises, agricultural value chain development, and greater access to gender-responsive financial and business development services. In particular, Canada is enabling women-owned and women-focused businesses in rural areas to participate more effectively in global value chains and to contribute more fully to the economy. Our work is fostering more gender-responsive working environments.

Canada will continue to support Vietnam’s efforts that are inclusive of women and ethnic minorities, as well as explore ways to support Vietnam as it addresses environment and climate change and a transition to renewable and sustainable energy sources.

Defence and Security

Defence and security relations have strengthened considerably since Canada and Vietnam signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Defence Cooperation in 2019, followed by the opening of a Defence Attaché Office in Hanoi in 2020. The MOU recognizes the importance of the bilateral defence relationship and commits to senior-level dialogues, as well as continued co-operation in peacekeeping, maritime security, and humanitarian assistance and disaster response. 

A new Canada Border Services Agency office was 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:

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