The conclusion of negotiations towards the signing of the Vietnam - Israel Free Trade Agreement (VIFTA) has opened up new and potential opportunities for Vietnam's exports, and now is time for businesses to understand Israeli people’s needs and tastes to promptly enter this new market, according to insiders.
After seven years with 12 negotiation sessions, recently the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) announced that it had officially concluded VIFTA negotiations with the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry to reach agreements in accordance with both countries’ aspirations and interests.
In the coming time, Vietnam and Israel will promote the final internal and legal works towards the signing of the agreement, which is expected to take place in 2023 in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the two countries’ diplomatic relations, they said.
Director of the MoIT’s Multilateral Trade Policy Department Luong Hoang Thai said that with a mutually complementary economic structure and strong growth in two-way trade turnover, Vietnam and Israel will gain more benefits when the deal’s incentives and advantages are effectively utilised.
The two sides will continue to strengthen coordination and exchange delegations between ministries, sectors, associations and enterprises to jointly seek and promote opportunities for trade and investment cooperation, and to build and popularise trade brands at fairs and exhibitions held in both nations.
According to the MoIT, Israel is currently the third largest export market and the fifth largest trading partner of Vietnam in West Asia, and considered a large and potential market for Vietnamese goods in the. Last year, the bilateral trade reached 2.2 billion USD, up 17.9% year-on-year, of which Vietnam’s exports were valued at 785.7 million USD and its imports hit 1.4 billion USD.
Vietnam mainly exports phones and components, seafood, cashew nuts, coffee, shoes, pepper, garment and textiles, wood and wood products to Israel. Meanwhile, it imports computers, electronic products and components, machinery, equipment and spare parts, fertilizers, vegetables and fruits from the West Asian country.
General Secretary of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) Truong Dinh Hoe said that the VIFTA, once signed, will create big opportunities for Vietnamese aquatic product exporters, with a distinct advantage in tariffs compared to other countries that have not had FTAs with this country.
This is also a "springboard" for Vietnamese enterprises to expand their exports to regional markets.
Elaborating on this market, Trade Counsellor in Israel Le Thai Hoa said that Israel has diverse needs and stable purchasing power and high spending. The country’s enterprises in general are very dynamic, and do business quite methodically and seriously. This market requires imports to strictly comply with specific local standards. Besides, Israel also applies the standards of the European Union and the US and implements quite strict inspection and control.
Vietnamese enterprises need to focus on offering processed products with high added value, competitive prices and appropriate quality; and to comply with requirements of the newly-issued Israeli import regulations and standards, Hoa advised.