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Apr 03, 2023 / 05:44

Vietnam, Israel conclude free trade agreement talks, expect robust bilateral trading

Israel is now the third-largest export market and the fifth-largest trade partner to Vietnam in West Asia.

Vietnam and Israel on April 2 declared they had concluded the seven-year negotiations for the bilateral free trade agreement (FTA).

Vietnam's Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien (left) and his Israeli counterpart Nir Barkat at the final free trade talk on April 2. Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Industry and Trade

The two governments will proceed necessary moves to complete signing the agreement in 2023. Vietnam and Israel are about to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the foundation of their diplomatic relations this year.

Vietnam’s Minister Nguyen Hong Dien said on April 2 that the Vietnam-Israel Free Trade Agreement (VIFTA) would bring the two nations better benefits and opportunities.

He said that Vietnamese and Israeli exports are supplementary to each other, and bilateral trade will enjoy robust growth in the future.

Minister Dien suggested that the two governments strengthen cooperation and exchanges of state officials and business executives to seek and explore collaborative chances in the joint trade fairs.

The Vietnamese official recommended that Israeli companies come and focus their investment in agriculture, high-tech agriculture, material industry, information and technology, green production, clean production, and industrial infrastructure development.

In exchange, he said that Vietnam needs Israeli businesses to share their experiences and abilities in the digital economy, digital transformation, and energy transition.

On his part, Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry Nir Barkat agreed to continue cooperation activities, enhance trade promotions, and facilitate good conditions for the operation of Vietnamese and Israeli enterprises.

The Israeli official hoped to maximize the effects of the VIFTA when it takes full effect.

The two ministers said that the high-quality, comprehensive VIFTA would strengthen the Vietnam-Israel trading and economic relations by removing export tariffs, easing non-tariff barriers, and improving trade, services, and investment.

Israel is one of its major trade partners with Vietnam. The former is the third largest export market and the fifth largest trade partner to the latter in the West Asia region.

In 2022, Vietnam and Israel saw bilateral trade values increase by nearly 18% on-year to US$2.2 billion. Of the figure, Vietnam exported US$785.7 million worth of goods and services to Israel, while imports from Israel were worth US$1.4 billion.

Major Vietnamese exports included smartphones and finished components, aquatic and agricultural produce, footwear, and textile and garments.