Strengthening Trade and Diplomatic Relations: A New Chapter in the Israel-Vietnam Partnership
Israel values Vietnam as a vital trading partner in Southeast Asia, and our collaboration has thrived across multiple sectors. As the Minister of Economy and Industry of Israel, I am delighted to reflect on the achievements of trade between our nations and the exciting new period that lies ahead with the impending ratification of the free trade agreement between our countries.
Our bilateral trade volume has reached unprecedented heights, creating new avenues for business opportunities. In 2022, the trade volume between our nations amounted to 1.46 billion USD (Israel’s data), representing a notable increase of approximately 6% compared to 2021. This growth reflects an overall surge of about 35% over the past five years.
These advancements in bilateral trade and economic cooperation also led to the signing of the Vietnam-Israel Free Trade Agreement (VIFTA) in Jerusalem last July where H.E. Mr. Nguyen Hong Dien, the Minister of Industry and Trade of Vietnam, and myself, signed this important agreement.
|Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang discussed with Israeli business representatives.
As we mark this year the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Israel and Vietnam, this milestone represents the fruitful cooperation and friendly relationship built upon shared values and interests of the Israeli and Vietnamese people.
Looking ahead, VIFTA is poised to reduce trade barriers and facilitate market access, unlocking immense potential for expanded economic cooperation. It signifies a firm commitment to strengthening our ties and creating new opportunities for trade and investment. VIFTA ’s important contribution is more significant than the Israel-Vietnam trade volumne. It opens the entire ASEAN market to Israeli tech and exports via the Vietnamese market thanks to Vietnam’s vast network of trade agreements with the ASEAN region. It does the same for Vietnamese exporters who can use Israel’s strength in the Europe, the Middle East and Africa region.
|Our bilateral trade volume has reached unprecedented heights, creating new avenues for business opportunities. In 2022, the trade volume between our nations amounted to 1.46 billion USD (Israel’s data), representing a notable increase of approximately 6% compared to 2021. This growth reflects an overall surge of about 35% over the past five years.
With VIFTA, on the Vietnamese side, Vietnam will benefit from its export of a wide range of products to Israel, including textile, footwear, seafood, coffee, and natural products. On the Israeli side, we will be able to expand the export of goods such as chemicals and fertilizers, electronics, fruits and vegetables, agritech and optical devices. Thanks to the trade agreement, the two sides will enjoy taxation benefits in market access and other advantages in various affects such as trade in service, investment protection and trade remedies.
For instance, in agriculture and food sector, the gradual reduction of Israeli customs duties on dried fruits, cashew nuts, spices, and cars to 0% will facilitate Vietnamese diverse industries in entering the Israeli market. In return, Israeli agritechnologies can be imported to Vietnam with zero tax. This is not only helpful for Israeli exporters but also for local farmers who can purchase good quality agro-technology from Israel with better price thanks to reduced tariffs.
In the coming time, to further solidify our collaboration, there are key areas where both Israel and Vietnam should focus their efforts. Technology and innovation area stand at the forefront of our partnership. Israel's thriving ecosystem of technological innovation presents numerous opportunities for collaboration in clusters, specifically such as cybersecurity, agritech, and clean tech. By pooling our resources and sharing best practices, we can drive technological advancements, foster entrepreneurship, and tackle emerging challenges together.
Israel's leading industry clusters offer unique advantages for both nations. The cybersecurity cluster, known for its world-class expertise, can empower Vietnam in fortifying its digital infrastructure and safeguarding critical systems. The increasing proportion of clean energy, such as solar and wind power will help Vietnam diversify energy sources, reduce its dependence on imported energy, diminish greenhouse gas emissions thus enhance its national energy security. Additionally, Israel's agritech sector, with its advanced agricultural technologies, can support Vietnam in increasing agricultural productivity and ensuring food security.
Infrastructure development is another crucial area of focus. Vietnam's ambitious plans for infrastructure expansion align perfectly with Israel's expertise in transportation, smart cities, and water management. By leveraging Israel's knowledge and cutting-edge solutions, Vietnam can benefit from enhanced infrastructure networks, improved urban planning, and sustainable development. In the realm of healthcare and biotechnology, collaboration is paramount.
Israel's advanced medical technologies, digital health solutions, and pharmaceutical expertise can significantly contribute to Vietnam's healthcare system. By partnering in research, capacity-building initiatives, and innovation exchange, we can strengthen healthcare delivery, enhance public health outcomes, and ensure better access to quality healthcare for all.
As we celebrate 30 years of diplomatic relations, we stand on the threshold of an even stronger alliance. In my visit in August, I saw in person this beautiful country and the opportunities it holds for Israelis and Vietnamese alike. I witnessed the kindness and openness of the people and the innovative thinking that could help these endeavors in the near future.
I truly believe that together, we can forge a path towards mutual prosperity and sustainable growth, we will build a brighter future, solidifying the bond between our nations and reaping the rewards of our shared endeavors.
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