Vietnam -Israel Free Trade Agreement To Come Into Being
|Vietnam and Israel conclude the negotiations for their free trade agreement, which lasted for seven years with 12 rounds. Photo: Israel's Economic & Trade Mission in Vietnam|
Vietnam and Israel on April 2 announced the conclusion of negotiations for their free trade agreement (FTA), creating a premise for the two countries to sign the deal right this year, VNA reported.
The announcement was made at a working session between Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien and Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry Nir Barkat during the former’s ongoing visit to Israel.
A Bilateral Free Trade Agreement is an economic cooperation agreement signed between two countries to remove barriers to most trade activities and to promote bilateral trade. Barriers can be in the form of tariffs, import quotas, other non-tariff barriers such as technical standards, sanitary and phytosanitary standards.
After taking effect, the FTA will promote trade exchange between the two countries and increase bilateral import and export turnover.
Basically, the product structure of Israel and Vietnam complement each other, not compete directly. While Vietnam is one of the world famous exporters of agricultural products, Israel is a leading country in high-tech products.
Dien said with the reciprocal economies and growing two-way trade, the two countries will benefit much from the agreement, whose negotiations lasted seven years with 12 rounds.
He suggested the two sides step up coordination and delegation exchange to seek and promote cooperation opportunities in trade and investment, and encouraged Israel’s businesses to invest in Vietnam in such areas as industry, high-tech agriculture, IT, green production and industrial infrastructure.
|The announcement was made at a working session on April 2 between Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien and Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry Nir Barkat during the former’s ongoing visit to the Middle East nation. Photo: VNA|
Dien also called on Israel to share its experience and technology in the digital economy, digital transformation, and energy transition.
For his part, Barkat agreed to continue with cooperation and exchange activities between the two ministries, as well as trade promotion programs to facilitate the operation of their enterprises, enabling them to optimize the VIFTA once it is put into place.
Vietnam and Israel officially established diplomatic relations in 1993. Israel opened an embassy in Hanoi the same year, and Vietnam established an embassy in Tel Aviv in 2009.
Vietnamese Party and State leaders strongly support and facilitate the steady development of the countries’ trade and economic relations, including the coming into being of the VIFTA, labor cooperation in agriculture, collaboration in innovation and entrepreneurship, and exchange of collective economic models and measures in response to epidemics.
According to the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade, Israel is Vietnam’s third-biggest importer and fifth-largest trade partner in West Asia.
Last year, the bilateral trade reached USD 2.2 billion, up 17.9% year-on-year, of which Vietnam’s export was valued at USD 785.7 million and its import hit USD 1.4 billion.
|At a working session between Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien and Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry Nir Barkat in Israel. Photo: Israel's Economic & Trade Mission in Vietnam|
The Vietnamese community in Israel is about 500, not to mention hundreds of students who come here every year to practice and be trained under the agricultural trainee cooperation program.
The 30th anniversary of the Vietnam-Israel diplomatic relations in 2023 opens the door for the Vietnamese Embassy in the Western Asian nation to step up economic-diplomacy-related activities, especially promoting the early approval of a bilateral free trade agreement, affirmed Ambassador Ly Duc Trung during a 2022 interview with VNA.
Both sides hope to complete the discussions of all contents over the past 11 years so that they can sign and implement the VIFTA as soon as possible, bringing practical mutual benefits.
This year, the embassy is striving to bring the Vietnam-Israel trade growth to about USD 3 billion as soon as possible.
Trung said the embassy, moreover, will continue to work with Israeli associations and ministries to remove bottlenecks related to negotiating a labor cooperation agreement in the agricultural sector, to open up the potential market in the future.
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