HCM City (VNA) – A workshop spotlighting Canada as a gateway for Vietnamese businesses to access the North American market took place in Ho Chi Minh City on November 22, aiming to provide the latest information, consumer trends, and export incentive policies for Vietnamese businesses to deepen their participation in the Canadian market.
Canada is Vietnam’s second-largest trading partner in the Americas after the US. According to data from the General Department of Vietnam Customs, trade between Vietnam and Canada reached over 5.2 billion USD in the first 10 months of 2023, down 16.3% year-on-year.
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Addressing the event, co-organised by the Ho Chi Minh City Investment and Trade Promotion Centre (ITPC) and Vietnamese Canadian Business Association (VCBA), Vice Chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee Vo Van Hoan said that the figure is modest compared to the potential boasted by the two countries. Vietnam also plays a role as a gateway for Canada to Southeast Asia and the Asia-Pacific region, he noted.
Consul General of Vietnam in Canada’s Vancouver Nguyen Quang Trung said that despite their geographical distance, the sides’ bilateral cooperation has developed strongly and comprehensively across various sectors. Both are members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and are currently initiating negotiations for the ASEAN-Canada Free Trade Agreement this year.
According to the diplomat, Vietnam and Canada have significant potential to expand multi-sectoral collaboration from trade to investment. Canadian investors are particularly interested in such areas as education, infrastructure, financial investment, and clean energy in Vietnam.
Pham Hong Hai, Vice Chairman of the Thien Viet securities company and former national director for HSBC Canada, stressed that establishing a business presence in Canada helps Vietnamese enterprises access the market and achieve a larger goal of developing global export markets and promoting their brand internationally.
In particular, businesses looking to access the US market should prioritise opening branches or offices in Canada, as selling products through Canada to the US is considered an export activity and can receive various forms of support.
Hai also listed several sectors with great potential for Vietnamese firms in Canada, including import-export, investment, commercial and industrial real estate, agriculture and farming, food processing, beverages, construction, as well as healthcare and pharmaceuticals./.