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 1997. Canada was a member of the International Commission of Control (later named the International Commission for Supervision and Control) for almost 20 years, after the cessation of Vietnam’s hostilities with France in 1954.
In Canada, Vietnam is represented by the Embassy of Vietnam and a Trade Office in Ottawa, and a Consulate General in Vancouver.
Canada and Vietnam maintain good bilateral relations. In 2013, Canada and Vietnam celebrated the 40th anniversary of their bilateral relations and many activities took place to commemorate this important year. There is an active 220,000+ strong Vietnamese-Canadian community in Canada.
Canada’s relations with Vietnam are expanding, particularly through rapidly-increasing trade and investment and a prominent development assistance presence. Canada’s relations with Vietnam are expanding, particularly through rapidly-increasing trade and investment and a prominent development assistance presence. Vietnam is confirmed as one of Canada’s 25 countries of focus.
Canada and Vietnam share membership in multiple multilateral forums, including ASEAN, in which Canada is a Dialogue Partner; Vietnam was Canada’s Coordinating Country for 2006-09. Canada and Vietnam are also members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the ASEAN Regional Forum, the Francophonie and the United Nations.
In early 2007, Canada’s Embassy and Consulate General launched a national education campaign to increase the number of Vietnamese students selecting Canada as their top choice for an international education.
In 2015, Canada hosted close to 5000 students from Vietnam (for 6 months or more), an increase of 57% from 2011, making Vietnam Canada’s 11th largest source country for international students in Canada. Vietnam has been identified as a priority market in Canada’s International Education Strategy.
There are a number of active agreements between Canadian and Vietnamese universities. Vietnam nationals are eligible to participate in a number of scholarship programs to study and conduct research in Canada including the Canadian Francophonie Scholarship Program, the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program, Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships and several programs offered by Mitacs.
Canada restored official development assistance to Vietnam in 1990 and until the end of 2012 has provided approximately $793 million in development assistance in support of Vietnam’s economic reform and poverty alleviation initiatives.
In 2009, as part of Canada's new aid effectiveness agenda, Vietnam was selected as a country of focus. Canada's current programming responds to the Government of Vietnam's poverty reduction priorities and focuses on improving the enabling environment for investment and on supporting rural enterprise development and agricultural productivity.
Canada’s efforts to build economic foundations are focussed on improving the accountability and capacity of public institutions, for example through support to reform in the State Bank of Vietnam, on helping to grow businesses by promoting entrepreneurship and small and medium enterprises, and on investing in people by building quality skills for employment. Canada’s development assistance to Vietnam focuses on enhancing skills for employment by improving access to and management of the technical and vocational education system.
In food security, the aim of Canadian development assistance to Vietnam has been to improve food quality and safety, and to expand agricultural productivity, especially among the rural poor and women.
In 2016, Vietnam’s economy grew by 6.2%, continuing a decade of high and steady growth. Extensive reforms (called “Doi Moi” or renewal) began in 1986, leading to substantial economic and social changes. In recent years, Vietnam has been making considerable efforts to increase its engagement on the world stage, seeking friendly relations with all countries.
Bilateral merchandise trade with Vietnam has increased steadily over the past decade, and is now more than double than it was in 2013. Canada-Vietnam bilateral trade reached an all-time high of nearly $5.5 billion in 2016. Merchandise imports from Vietnam were valued at $5.0 billion, while exports were worth $528 million. Canadian companies have found opportunities in Vietnam in a variety of sectors including: Agriculture and Agri-Food, Education and Training, Aerospace & Defence, Oil & Gas as well as Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).
Vietnam is committed to the long-term objective of global economic integration through participation in APEC, the ASEAN Free Trade Area and the WTO. Canada and Vietnam are two of the twelve members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations.
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