Canada helps Vietnam access COVID-19 vaccines

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has reiterated his pledge to provide continued assistance to Vietnam’s ongoing COVID-19 fight, including vaccine accessibility, during his May 19 phone talks with his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Minh Chinh, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).
PM Pham Minh Chinh holds phone talks with his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau on May 19. (Photo: MOFA)
PM Pham Minh Chinh holds phone talks with his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau on May 19. (Photo: MOFA)

Canada will continue to support Vietnam and other regional countries in accessing vaccines against COVID-19 through mechanisms such as the ACT Accelerator, the COVAX Facility and the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund, the MOFA said in its communiqué.

It will also increase assistance to Vietnam in climate change response and sustainable development, especially in the Mekong Delta and coastal areas, said the communiqué.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh congratulated Canada on its success in responding to the pandemic. He at the same time thanked the Government and people of Canada for providing practical support, including 120,000 N95 masks, an aid package of 3.5 million Canadian dollars for the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund, as well as an aid package of 700,000 Canadian dollars to help Vietnam mitigate the impact of natural disasters in the central region.

Exchanging views on bilateral relations, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau affirmed that Canada attaches great importance to the friendly relationship and wishes to bring the Vietnam-Canada Comprehensive Partnership to new heights.

He especially highly appreciated Vietnam’s increasing role and position in the international arena, which has been clearly demonstrated in its role as ASEAN Chair in 2020 and a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the 2020-2021 term.

He reaffirmed his commitment to fostering cooperation in the areas of trade, development cooperation and national defense between the two countries.

For his part, Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh suggested the two sides strengthen cooperation in a number of specific areas such as the COVID-19 fight, including coronavirus vaccine accessibility, as well as supporting each other in consular affairs and citizen protection.

Both sides also agreed to strengthen the existing dialogue mechanisms, including political consultations at the deputy foreign minister’s level and bilateral defense consultations, and promote the establishment of a joint committee on economic and trade cooperation, aiming to raise bilateral trade to US$8 billion in the next two years from the current US$5 billion.

PM Chinh emphasized the business communities of both countries need to take advantage of opportunities within the framework of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). He encouraged Canada to diversify investment in Vietnam, especially in areas of its strengths such as finance, innovation, sustainable agriculture, environmental protection, and clean energy.

The Vietnamese leader asked Canada to support more than 20,000 Vietnamese students studying in Canada and create favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community to live and work in the host country during the pandemic time.

The two PMs also exchanged views on international and regional issues of mutual concern, including the East Sea issue, and agreed to continue working closely at regional and international forums such as the UN, APEC, ASEAN, and the Francophonie Community.