According to preliminary data of Statistics Canada, Vietnam’s exports to the North American country rebounded in 2018 to CAD5.35 billion, up 5.2% year on year. Its imports from Canada stayed flat at around CAD1.01 billion.
Vietnam’s major foreign currency earners like textile-garment, footwear and wood products posted good growth. Several new products recorded surges in overseas shipments, including plastic and rubber products (27%), coconut oil (100%), and paper products (50%).
In contrast, the export of mobile phones to Canada continued to fall sharply for the second straight year, dropping by 11% from 2017, and was equivalent to only 50% of the export value in 2016.
Imports of some big groups of commodities from Canada rose strongly such as coal (up 2.5-fold), wood pulp (up threefold) and leather materials (up 70%), while others posted declines, leading to a stagnant import turnover.
The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is expected to promote bilateral trade. With Canada’s fast tariff reduction roadmap (from 17-18% to zero percent in three years), some Vietnamese items are forecast to witness strong export growth as from 2019 like textile-garment, footwear, handbags, plastics and wood products.
For their part, Canadian businesses are interested in Vietnam’s opening of its market for foreign agricultural products such as pork, beef, chicken, aquatic products and fresh fruits.
Aside from the CPTPP, impact of the US-China trade war has also made many Canadian firms plan to move some of their factories and orders from China to Vietnam, which is also a chance for the ASEAN nation to boost shipments to Canada.