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Canada Day message from the Ambassador of Canada - July 1, 2021

This year, more than ever, Canada Day (our national holiday on July 1st) presents an opportunity to show solidarity, understanding and resilience. It invites Canadians to come together to reflect on our history and culture. Most importantly, Canada Day gives us space to hold truthful, reconciling, and inclusive dialogue, strengthen the ties that unite us, and look toward our country’s future with optimism while acknowledging the past. 

Spending Canada Day here in Vietnam, naturally leads me to think about the connections between our two countries. Canada has a diverse population and is home to around 250,000 Canadians of Vietnamese origin. They are represented in all walks of life and have contributed to the social and cultural fabric of our country. They are an integral part of the long-standing people-to-people ties that bind Canada and Vietnam. And our relationship has grown stronger under the Comprehensive Partnership established by our two Prime Ministers in 2017 to advance peace and security, increase economic prosperity, and promote sustainable development and resilience.

On the peace and security front, Canada was proud to establish a Canadian Defence Attaché office in Hanoi in 2020. Along with our Military Training Cooperation Program and regular naval ship visits, the new office is helping to strengthen defence relations between Canada and Vietnam. Canada was also pleased to support Vietnam and the United Nations as one of the sponsors of the “International Conference on Women, Peace and Security: Strengthening Women’s Role in Building and Sustaining Peace”. The conference was a signature initiative of Vietnam’s term on the United Nations Security Council which helped to maintain momentum on the Women, Peace and Security agenda. As a long-standing ASEAN Dialogue Partner, Canada took the opportunity during the conference to announce 8.5 million Canadian dollars in funding to advance the Women, Peace and Security agenda in the ASEAN region. 

Canada and Vietnam are also partners in the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership or CPTPP. We have seen two-way trade in goods increase by more than 35% since the agreement came into force in 2019, increasing economic prosperity for both countries, and for small and medium-sized enterprises in particular. This year, we hope to launch negotiations for an ASEAN-Canada Free Trade Agreement. Such an agreement could increase Vietnam’s GDP by more than 6 billion US dollars over and above the gains made by joining the CPTPP. But we don’t just trade in goods; we also trade in services, such as education. Canada is a popular study destination for Vietnamese students who are attracted by our world class educational institutions and welcoming culture. Despite pandemic-related travel restrictions, students are still able to travel to Canada to pursue their studies at qualified institutions, and we hope that as the global health situation improves, more Vietnamese will choose to study in Canada. 

Canada and Vietnam are also working together to advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Since 1990, Canada has contributed over 1.7 billion Canadian dollars in international assistance to Vietnam.  We are committed to this country’s sustainable development and poverty reduction efforts, especially now as Vietnam weathers the impacts of the global COVID‑19 pandemic and works to retain its development gains. Canada is assisting Vietnam and other countries to access COVID‑19 vaccines through multilateral mechanisms such as the ACT Accelerator, COVAX facility and the ASEAN COVID‑19 response fund.

In support of Vietnam’s development priorities and objectives, Canada is placing a particular focus on growth that works for everyone. This includes support for small and medium-sized enterprises, cooperatives and impact-oriented businesses. It includes building public sector capacity to design and implement public-private-partnerships for sustainable infrastructure. Canada is also supporting Vietnam on enhancing food safety and broader food system issues. We are working together to increase Vietnam’s resilience to climate change and environmental challenges by supporting a transition to clean energy and addressing marine plastics litter. Canada also provided humanitarian assistance in response to the natural disaster in central Vietnam in 2020. And we look at all of these issues through a gender perspective to increase women’s economic empowerment and ensure that we leave no one behind.

When I think about Canada Day here in Vietnam, these are some of the highlights of our cooperation that come to mind. On this day, I wish all Canadians in Vietnam and all Vietnamese with connections to Canada a very happy Canada Day!


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