Today, on July 1, Canadians from coast to coast to coast are celebrating Canada's 148th birthday. Families across Canada will gather at backyard barbeques, in parks, or join thousands of Canadians on Parliament Hill in our nation's capital to celebrate Canada Day. Canadians will show their pride in their country – a peaceful and prosperous nation, a nation built on principles of multiculturalism and inclusion and a leader in innovation and education.
|Big spill: Aerial of Niagara Falls from the Canadian side of the famous attraction. — Photo lonelyplanet.com
Our country is home to vast wilderness, areas of extraordinary beauty, and charming cities. Ours is a clean, healthy environment that is carefully protected and with a quality of life that has ranked Canada among the best places in the world to live. Our safe and dynamic country is open to the world.
Canada is known for having the right economic fundamentals, an outstanding industrial capacity, a diversified service sector and abundant natural resources. Ours is a forward-thinking business environment with a large-scale infrastructure and unrestricted access to the world's richest market. We are on the leading edge in science and technology and a dependable trade and investment partner, able to compete at the global level.
Canadian excellence is based on ingenuity and knowledge. Canada's highly qualified, innovative workforce grows from our multilingual, multidisciplinary population. Our world-class network of teaching and R&D institutions spurs the imagination and originality of our artists working in literature, music, film, theatre, dance and the visual arts.
Canada's just and inclusive society has a strong bilingual and multicultural identity with Aboriginal, English and French roots. Canadian society is committed to the promotion of human rights and the rule of law at home and in our foreign policy believing that each person, including women, young people, persons with disabilities and ethnic minorities, has the right to equal opportunity. Our modern state has a functional, flexible federal structure that adapts to changing circumstances and we are one of the world's most electronically connected countries linking schools and institutions in remote areas via the Internet.
Viet Nam focus
Viet Nam is a country of focus for our International Education Strategy. Last year, well over 4,000 Vietnamese students were studying in Canada, and many are also studying Canadian curriculum right here in Viet Nam, at all levels, from a Canadian kindergarten to Canadian undergraduate and graduate programs being delivered in partnership with Vietnamese universities.
As an important development partner for Viet Nam, Canada continues to work with Viet Nam on governance, legislative development, banking sector reform, and agriculture and rural development. Canadians are proud to contribute to the sustainable development of Viet Nam which improves the lives of all Vietnamese people.
Viet Nam is also a priority market in Canada's Global Market Action Plan. In 2014 two-way-trade reached a new high of US$3.31 billion. More Canadian food products are available in Viet Nam, and more restaurants in Viet Nam are serving a variety of Canadian fish and seafood and there is increasing interest in high quality Canadian beef.
Our first cherries of the season will soon arrive in Viet Nam and will be available in several stores. They will be followed by Canadian Ambrosia apples in the fall. Our respective businesses are engaging with each other more and more in a variety of sectors. There is plenty of untapped potential in our commercial relationship but we are well on our way.
We also work together closely in multilateral fora, including ASEAN, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the World Trade Organisation (WTO), la Francophonie and the United Nations and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations.
Finally, it is the people of our two countries who are the strong foundation to our growing bilateral relationship. It is both Canadian and Vietnamese citizens, working as technical experts, teachers, doctors, and students in both Canada and Viet Nam, who promote our mutual understanding and represent the best of Canada and Viet Nam.
We wish Canadians in Viet Nam and friends of Canada, a very Happy Canada Day.
Please join the 80,000+ fans of the Canada in Viet Nam Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/CanadaVietnam for daily updates on Canada and our activities in Viet Nam. — VNS