31st Sea Games - Vietnam 2021 Covid-19 Pandemic
Apr 14, 2022 / 01:56

Vietnam expected to boost Canada-ASEAN Strategic Partnership

Vietnam plays the key player in Canada’s new Indo-Pacific Strategy.

Ottawa expects Vietnam’s greater role in elevating the Canada-ASEAN relations to Strategic Partnership from the current Enhanced Partnership, Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly said in a meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh in Hanoi on April 13.
Vietnam's Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and Canada's Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly in Hanoi on April 13. Photo: Nhat Bac/VGP   

She said the support by Vietnam will boost the relationship between Canada and the 10-member bloc, which was agreed by both Canada and ASEAN in a meeting in September 2020 under Vietnam’s ASEAN Chairmanship. 

To strengthen the relations, the two sides have released Plan of Action to implement the Joint Declaration on the Enhanced Partnership in the 2021-2015 period.

Canada and ASEAN, through this Plan of Action, are committed to further deepening and continuing close consultations on widening the scope of their relations through ASEAN-led mechanisms and in all pillars of cooperation.

Both sides endeavor to foster cooperation in politics and security, economics, socio-cultural aspects, cross-pillar collaboration, sustainable development, initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) and narrowing development gap, strengthening of the ASEAN Secretariat, and implementation mechanism.   

Canada became an ASEAN Dialogue Partner in 1977. Dialogue partners cooperate on political and security issues, regional integration, economic interests, inter-faith dialogue, transnational crime and counterterrorism, disaster risk reduction, and other areas.

ASEAN as a whole is Canada’s 6th largest trading partner. In 2018, the Canada-ASEAN merchandise trade reached $25.1 billion. In November 2021, Canada and ASEAN launched negotiations toward a Canada-ASEAN free trade agreement (FTA). This potential agreement would help create new market opportunities for Canadian goods and services while supporting a more transparent and predictable environment for trade and investment.

Mélanie Joly affirmed that her visit to Vietnam is in line with Canada’s new Indo-Pacific Strategy in which Ottawa wants to boost ties with some regional countries, among them, Vietnam becomes the key player.

Regarding Vietnam-Canada relations, she stressed the importance of trade relations, connecting businesses, support for Vietnam’s agricultural export, cooperation for food security, digital economy, and manpower training.

For his part, PM Chinh asked Canada to continue supporting the Vietnamese community of 240,000 people in Canada and for Vietnamese students to return to schools in the country.

On this occasion, the Vietnamese PM thanked the Government of Canada for its support of Vietnam’s development and poverty reduction efforts. Since 1990, Canada has contributed $1.3 billion in development assistance to Vietnam.