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Vietnam, Canada establish framework for comprehensive partnership

Thursday, November 09, 2017, 15:26 GMT+7

More than 40 years after late Canadian PM Pierre Trudeau established diplomatic ties with Vietnam, his son Justin Trudeau is taking bilateral relations to a new height by opening the doors for a comprehensive partnership.

An agreement to establish the framework for a comprehensive partnership between Vietnam and Canada was reached on Wednesday during talks between Trudeau and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc in Hanoi.

The Canadian head of government is in Vietnam for an official state visit and for the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders’ summit hosted by Da Nang City this weekend.

The partnership marks an important milestone in Vietnam-Canada relations, incorporating multiple areas of cooperation including trade, investment, education and training, national defense, security, and science-technology.

A new chapter

Co-chairing a press conference with his Canadian counterpart following Wednesday’s talks, PM Phuc stressed that the establishment of the comprehensive partnership would help build momentum for cooperative ties, especially considering the two nations are now “sharing more common interests bilaterally as well as in regional and international affairs.”

Both leaders took the opportunity to express delight at the positive development of bilateral ties across many fields over the past years.

Through this important milestone, Vietnam and Canada also seek to deepen coordination at international and regional forums such as APEC and Francophonie, as well as in other issues of common interest.

The new agreement on the framework for the Vietnam-Canada comprehensive partnership will open a new chapter in bilateral relations
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc

Sharing that view, PM Trudeau said the Canada-Vietnam comprehensive partnership will be an important legal framework for the two countries to continue fostering existing cooperative ties in all fields.

Trudeau pledged to provide support to Vietnam in the country’s efforts to battle climate change and build sustainable development through the enactment of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Canada is also willing to facilitate more student exchange programs between the two countries, he said.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau feeds the fish at the Ho Chi Minh Residence in Hanoi, November 8, 2017. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau feeds fish at the Ho Chi Minh Residence in Hanoi. Photo: Tuoi Tre

The backpacking Trudeau

Diverging from diplomatic exchanges, PM Trudeau recalled backpacking through Vietnam in 1995 as a young man and reflected upon the changes he has observed in the country over the past 22 years.

The Canadian leader remarked on how bilateral relations have developed significantly since his late father Pierre Trudeau, who served as Prime Minister of Canada between 1968 and 1984, established diplomatic ties with Vietnam in 1973.

Since then, the countries have worked closely to advance common interests, international cooperation, and trade exchanges, he said.

Trudeau added that it was his pleasure to uphold the long tradition of cooperation between Vietnam and Canada by signing the agreement.

PM Trudeau touched down in Hanoi on Wednesday morning, commencing his official trip to the Southeast Asian nation on November 8 and 9.

A welcome ceremony hosted by Vietnamese PM Phuc was held at the Presidential Palace on the afternoon of the same day, followed by joint talks and a press briefing.

The Canadian leader met with State President Tran Dai Quang, chairwoman of the National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, and Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong later that evening.

After his agenda in Hanoi, the Canadian premier headed Ho Chi Minh City on Thursday morning for scheduled meetings with Vietnamese business leaders in the morning and an armchair discussion at Ton Duc Thang University in the afternoon.

After the conclusion of his state visit, Trudeau will travel to Da Nang to attend the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, where he is expected to promote Canada as a partner of choice for trade and investment in the region in a bid to deepen economic cooperation with APEC economies.

Following his trip to Vietnam, PM Trudeau will travel to the Philippines to attend the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Manila.

Born in 1971 in Ottawa, Trudeau is a member of the Liberal Party of Canada and was appointed the prime minister of Canada on November 4, 2015.

Established in 1989, APEC is a regional economic forum established in 1989 and comprised of 21 member economies, including Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, the United States, and Vietnam, among others.

Running from November 6 to 11, the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week is expected to be attended by world leaders including United States President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

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