Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh has suggested agencies in Vietnam and Canada to devise a mechanism to exchange information and handle trade defence cases
Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh speaks at the video conference (Source: www.qdnd.vn)
Anh made the request during a video conference with Canadian Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade Mary Ng on May 25.
The meeting aimed to bolster bilateral cooperation and maximise the benefits of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), paving the way for businesses of both nations to access trade and investment information as the economies gradually recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the event, Anh spoke highly of the two countries’ efforts to effectively implement the CPTPP, with detailed action plans to create favourable conditions for firms to make inroads into and explore each other’s markets.
Relevant agencies has promptly and efficiently dealt with problems incurred during the implementation of the agreement, he noted, facilitating Vietnamese firms’ participation in the CPTPP and Vietnam-Canada trade relations.
The Vietnamese minister suggested the two countries enhance connectivity in the supply chain, production and exports, particularly of face masks and personal protective equipment in the wake of the pandemic.
Vietnam and Canada need to strengthen trade promotions both offline and online, he added.
Canada has been invited to be an Honorary Country at the Vietnam International Food Industry Exhibition (Vietnam FoodExpo) this year, which is expected to bolster cooperation in the fields of agriculture, industry and trade, he said.
Anh took the occasion to thank the Canadian Government for providing technical assistance for Vietnam in the framework of the Canadian Trade and Investment Facility for Development (CTIF) and the Expert Deployment Mechanism for Trade and Development (EDM) projects.
He asked the Canadian side to consider the establishment of an inter-governmental committee on economy and trade to share information, review cooperation and discuss measures for economic, trade and investment ties.
Vietnam will improve its investment climate and create optimal conditions for Canadian projects, Anh pledged, voicing his hope that the new cooperation mechanism will foster investment in strategic sectors of mutual concern.
For her part, Mary Ng underlined the important role of Vietnam, which is Canada’s largest trade partner in Southeast Asia, in its trade persification strategy towards the Asia-Pacific region.
Echoing Anh’s views, she said the two ministries need an enhanced cooperation mechanism to help firms access information and increase capacity to overcome the difficulties caused by the economic recession and the ongoing pandemic.
As Vietnam is holding the ASEAN Chair in 2020, the Canadian minister hoped that the country will support Canada’s talks on free trade agreements with other ASEAN members and its run for a non-permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council for the 2021-2022 tenure.
The two ministers agreed to hold regular video conferences at all levels to carry out activities, bolster trade and promptly remove bottlenecks for businesses, contributing to the bilateral economic partnership.
Two-way trade has been on the rise in recent years, the ministers noted, especially since the CPTPP took effect. The figure hit US$4.77 billion in 2019, a year-on-year surge of 23%. Vietnam exported goods worth around US$3.91 billion to Canada last year.
In the first four months of 2020, bilateral trade reached US$1.42 billion despite the complex developments of COVID-19, seeing a marginal decline of 2.8% compared to the same period last year.