Canada-Vietnam Friendship Society: Building People-to-People Friendship
On Saturday, January 28 at 2pm on Zoom, the Canada-Vietnam Friendship Society is holding a webinar on Canada-Vietnam relations to celebrate 50 years of official Canada-Vietnam cooperation and relations. January 28 marks the 93rd anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of Vietnam. The speaker at the event will be Vietnamese Ambassador to Canada, Pham Cao Phong. You can register to attend by sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Everyone is encouraged to attend.
Canadians have a long tradition of friendship with the Vietnamese people. In the 1960’s and 1970’s, Canadian youth and students stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the Vietnamese people in opposing the Vietnam War, despite the fact that the Canadian government, which publicly did not support the war, played a dirty behind-the-scenes supporting role.
Thousands of USians who refused to be drafted into the Vietnam War came to Canada, many of whom subsequently stayed and became Canadian citizens. Canadians also opened their homes to Vietnamese from the south of the country who left Vietnam following the war, when all kinds of anti-communist lies were spread about their motivations and scare stories about Vietnam’s imminent collapse, never materialized. On the contrary, Vietnam is thriving, has raised the standard of living of its people manifold, and engages with most countries in the world on the basis of friendship and mutual benefit.
Today, there are more than 240,000 Canadians of Vietnamese origin living in Canada (2016 census) and many visa students studying here every year in secondary and post-secondary institutions, currently more than 20,000. Vietnamese workers, on occasion, also come to Canada as part of inter-company transfers (contract work), as was the case at CS Wind in Windsor, where groups of Vietnamese welders were brought to Canada to work at the company’s factory in Windsor, Ontario and in erecting wind farms.
When it comes to diplomatic relations, Canada’s relations with the People’s Socialist Republic of Vietnam date back to 1973. Canada established an embassy in Hanoi in 1994. In 2017, Canada and Vietnam signed a Comprehensive Partnership in areas of political and diplomatic, trade and investment, development cooperation, defence and security, cultural and academic exchange, science, technology and innovation, and people-to-people ties.
Vietnam is Canada’s largest trading partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), since 2015. International trade between Canada and Vietnam reached $8.9 billion (USD) in 2020.
The Canada-Vietnam Friendship Society points out that “our unity, our friendship is intimately linked to building a prosperous, peaceful and happy future for both our peoples. We seek to promote actions which unite our peoples and all peoples.”