Vietnam and Israel to soon implement bilateral free trade agreement – VIFTA18/08/2023 65
Vietnam and Israel will soon complete related procedures to kick-start the implementation of the recently signed free trade agreement (VIFTA) between the two countries.
The agreement was reached during talks in Hanoi on August 16 between Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien and Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry Nir Barkat, who was visiting Vietnam.
Dien said Vietnam always considers Israel one of Vietnam’s most important partners in the Middle East. He highly appreciated Israel’s strengths, including scientific and technological advances, and said the two economies have more room to ramp up cooperation.
The coming enforcement of the VIFTA will enable Vietnam to export its key products not only to Israel but also to other markets in the Middle East, North Africa and South Europe, he noted.
In addition, he said Israeli goods and technologies will have the opportunity to access the Vietnamese market of more than 100 million consumers, as well as ASEAN, Asia-Pacific and major economies of the 16 FTAs that Vietnam has already signed.
Dien proposed that the two sides establish a Sub-committee on Trade and Industry Cooperation, negotiate and sign a memorandum of understanding on industrial cooperation, and speed up Israeli technology transfer for Vietnamese businesses.
He also proposed that Israel support human resource training in Vietnam in the fields of the electronics industry, high-tech agriculture, the material industry, information technology, and green and clean production.
Acknowledging Dien’s proposals, Nir Barkat affirmed Israel regards Vietnam one of its key partners in the Asia-Pacific region and it wants to enhance cooperation with the Southeast Asian economy in all fields.
Vietnam is one of the most dynamic economies in the region and the world, with a GDP size of nearly US$410 billion and economic growth reaching 8.02% last year, he noted.
The Israeli minister assured his host that he would direct relevant agencies of the Ministry of Economy and Industry to work closely with their Vietnamese counterparts to soon complete procedures for the enforcement of the VIFTA.
Israel is currently one of Vietnam’s largest trading partners in the Middle East, with their import-export turnover hitting US$1.6 billion a year. After the Vietnam-Israel Free Trade Agreement comes into effect, the two sides expect to raise their two-way trade to US$3 - 4 billion and higher in the coming years.
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