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Mar 24, 2022 / 17:33

Vietnam calls for Canada recognition of vaccine passport

Trade remains the spotlight of the Vietnam-Canada relations as Vietnam has been Canada’s biggest trading partner in ASEAN for six consecutive years.

Vietnam has called on Canada to promptly recognize its vaccine passports in the fact that the Southeast Asian country has been fully open to international visitors since mid-March.

 A phone talk was held on Mar 23 between Vietnam's Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son and Canadia's Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly. Photo: MOFA

The move will greatly support Vietnamese, especially students in returning to Canada for work and study after a disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Vietnam’s Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son told his Canadian counterpart Mélanie Joly in a phone talk on Mar 23.

So far, Vietnam reached mutual recognition of vaccine passports with 17 countries with the majority being its key tourism source markets like Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, the UK. In addition, the country also accepts vaccine passports from 79 countries. 

During the phone conversation, Son suggested measures to boost the bilateral relations on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the Comprehensive Partnership (2017-2022) and ahead of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic ties (1973-2023).

One of the measures is facilitating the import of Vietnamese goods. Vietnam expected Canada to open its market for farm produce, seasonal fruits, and seafood, as part of efforts to boost trade of the two members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Vietnam also seeks Canada’s investment in digital transformation, manpower, climate adaptation, green finance, and green growth to help the Southeast Asian country on its net-zero journey to 2050.

 CPTPP proved to be momentum for the Vietnam-Canada trade relations. Image: Talentsolutioncanada

Trade in spotlight

Since 2015, Vietnam has been Canada’s largest trading partner in ASEAN.

In 2020, the two-way trade totaled US$8.9 billion, an all-time high, up 11% on the year, according to Canada’s Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business, and Economic Development.

To boost trade, in January 2021, the two sides inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on setting up the Vietnam-Canada Joint Economic Committee (JEC).

The MOU will provide a platform to improve dialogue and collaboration on shared and emerging priorities with Vietnam. Not only will the MOU contribute to deepening the Canada-Vietnam bilateral relationship, but it will also enhance Canada’s presence in the Indo-Pacific. 

By establishing the JEC, the Government of Canada is advancing trade diversification in the region, building on the success of the CPTPP and collaboration through Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), as well as advancing free trade negotiations between Canada and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), of which Vietnam is a member.

Regarding CPTPP, Canada raised the trade pact which underpins Canada’s trade relationship with Vietnam. It stated that three years after it enters into force, the trade agreement “continues to be an important tool to help businesses and consumers in both countries benefit from strengthened and diversified supply chains” as stated by the Canadian Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion, and International Trade.

It is believed that the CPTPP, with its possible expansion, is especially important to ensure a strong and inclusive economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. The CPTPP establishes duty-free access for trade in goods between Canada and Vietnam, along with the elimination of tariffs for Canada in crucial export areas. The agreement also serves to help Vietnamese consumers purchase high-quality products from Canada at affordable and reasonable prices.

“Canada recognizes the growing importance of creating trade opportunities with Vietnam and the Indo-Pacific, including for our supply chains and our long-term economic growth and competitiveness. Businesses and workers in both Canada and Vietnam will benefit from enhanced and diversified supply chains supported by the new Joint Economic Committee,” said Mary Ng, Canadian Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business, and Economic Development.