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PM: Canada a key partner

Released at: 15:54, 09/06/2018

PM: Canada a key partner

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (standing) speaks at the Vietnam-Canada business forum in Quebec on June 8 (Photo: VNA)

PM addresses business forum during official visit to Canada, where he will attend the G7 Outreach Summit from June 8-10.

by Long Van

As part of his official visit to Canada to attend the G7 Outreach Summit from June 8 to 10 at the invitation of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc also addressed the Vietnam-Canada Business Forum in Quebec on June 8 (Canada time), according to a report from the Vietnam News Agency.

He introduced Canadian businesses to Vietnam’s dynamic economy, improved investment and business environment, and abundant opportunities. Vietnam, he told the gathering, has recorded high economic growth, with trade turnover hitting $425 billion and foreign investment $37 billion in 2017.

The State-owned news agency quoted the Prime Minister as saying that foreign investors in Vietnam are satisfied with the country’s investment efficiency, in particular the opening up of the economy via various free trade agreements.

In March this year, Vietnam and Canada signed and are undertaking procedures for the ratification of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Under the deal, Vietnam commits to removing nearly 100 per cent of tariffs, meaning that many Canadian goods will enjoy tax reductions and exemptions when entering the country.

The Prime Minister added that Vietnam is restructuring State-owned enterprises, including those in important fields such as aviation, power, oil and gas, telecommunications, and transport infrastructure. This represents a great opportunity for foreign investors, including those from Canada and Quebec, to become strategic shareholders.

He cited a multinational solar power plant with a capacity of 168 MW and investment of $150 million launched recently in south-central Ninh Thuan province as an example of the potential for cooperation between Vietnam and Canada.

He affirmed that Vietnam considers Canada an important partner on the American continent, holding that the two economies can supplement each other and not compete. Vietnam has a strong agriculture sector and many industrial products, he added.

Trade turnover between the two countries is $6 billion and Canadian investment stands at $3.5 billion. The Prime Minister called on sides to work harder together to improve both figures.

He also directly answered questions from Canadian investors.

He underscored that Vietnam greatly values foreign investment and protects the interests of foreign investors.

Vietnam is calling for more quality investment, especially in high added value products in global chains and environmentally-friendly investment, focusing on the areas of infrastructure, renewable energy, and high-tech agriculture.

Prime Minister Phuc told the forum that Vietnam has a “golden” population structure, with 60 per cent of the workforce being young people. Each year, the country exports a large number of workers trained in foreign languages. As a member of Francophone, Vietnam has strengthened French language teaching with the aim of creating high quality human resources for future socioeconomic development.

In his address, Quebec Mayor Regis Labeaume highlighted the strengths of the city in electronics, energy, the environment, materials, financial services, science, and startups.

Vice Governor of Canada’s central bank, Mr. Vincent Joli-Coeur, spoke highly of the reform in Vietnam over the past 30 years, while making optimistic comments about the economic outlook and investment opportunities available.

He said that among countries where the bank has a presence, Vietnam ranks first in terms of opening up to foreign investors, adding that it also meets criteria in terms of both infrastructure and business ethics.

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