On March 28th 2016, in Hanoi, Mr. Tran Quoc Khanh, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of Vietnam, Chief negotiator and Ms. Meirav Eilon Shahar – Ambassador of Israel in Hanoi presided the opening ceremony of the first negotiation session for free trade agreement (FTA) between Vietnam and Israel.

This event is a cornerstone for 23 years of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Israel. Deputy Minister Tran Quoc Khanh and Israeli Ambassador Meirav Eilon Shahar affirmed that this is an important event in the economic relation between the two countries, marking the first milestone of the process of negotiating the bilateral free trade agreement.

Accordingly, the two sides will negotiate a free trade agreement in accordance with the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The disparity in development levels between the two countries will also be taken into account.

The agreement will cover areas such as trade in goods, trade in services, investment, and some other issues of mutual interest.

Deputy Minister and Israeli Ambassador expressed their confidence that the Vietnam - Israel Free Trade Agreement will play an important role in promoting economic co-operations between the two countries. Leaders of the two sides will closely monitor and promptly direct for a smooth negotiation process and fruitful results.

After 23 years of diplomatic ties, Vietnam and Israel have become important partners. In terms of commerce, Israel is one of Vietnam's major partners with bilateral trade volume swelling from US$ 375 million in 2011 to nearly US$ 1.7 billion in 2015. Prospects for co-operations have been seen in other fields such as investment, finance, services, science, technology and labor.

Under the proposed program, the first negotiating session will be held for 3 days, from 28th to 30th March 2016.​

Source: Embassy of Israel in Vietnam