Israel, Vietnam’s major trade partner in Middle East

09:37 | 01/09/2014 Trade

(VEN) - Although the global economy is still fluctuating and the Vietnamese and Israeli economies are facing difficulties, bilateral trade between Vietnam and Israel is soaring and development potential remains great.

Israeli Ambassador to Vietnam Meirav Eilon Shahar

Keeping the growth momentum

Despite unpredictable changes in the global economy which have significantly affected economic development, trade between the two countries continued to grow rapidly and steadily.

Statistics from the General Department of Customs showed that Vietnamese-Israeli trade reached US$605.3 million in 2013, an increase of 38 percent from 2012. Of this, Vietnamese exports to Israel came to US$400.7 million, an increase of 43 percent, and imports from Israel US$204.6 million, an increase of 28 percent.

With the growth momentum, two-way trade between the two countries in the first half of this year increased by 53 percent from a year ago, to US$426 million. Of this, Vietnam sold US$261 million worth of goods to Israel and bought US$165 million from this market. Vietnamese major exports include mobile phones and phone accessories amounting to US$190 million and accounting for 58 percent of total export revenues, seafood US$22 million and 7 percent, and footwear US$15 million. Major imports from Israel were fertilizer, machinery, equipment and spare parts which have facilitated domestic production.

Israel currently is one of Vietnam’s largest trade partners in the Middle East, behind the UAE, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

The two economies supplement each other

Apart from support from the two governments, the Vietnamese and Israeli economies can supplement each other. Israel has a high-tech production sector, while Vietnam has advantage in processing goods and producing consumer goods, farm products and seafood. Vietnamese major exports include farm products, textiles, garments and electric equipment. Major imports from Israel include fertilizer, machinery, equipment and electronic appliances.

Israeli Ambassador to Vietnam Meirav Eilon Shahar said that the Vietnamese and Israeli markets supplement each other for development, rather than compete with each other.

In recent years Israeli businesses have actively sought opportunities to cooperate with Vietnam and have achieved good results. Many Israeli businesses are currently developing major projects in Vietnam thus contributing to increasing bilateral trade in a sustainable manner.

In addition, cooperation between the two countries is expanding to include not only trade but also creating added values for both countries. Vietnam and Israel have many similarities in terms of people and traditional development.

However, Meirav Eilon Shahar said that trade between the two countries did not match potential and expectation. For this reason, Israel is trying to help its businesses invest in Vietnam, while at the same time taking action in order for agreements on trade cooperation between the two countries to take effect and administrative procedures to be simplified to facilitate businesses.

A Vietnam-Israel Trade Commission was established this July in an effort to promote trade between the two countries. With the commission, Vietnamese and Israeli businesses can easily learn about the market and find cooperative opportunities. The commission also intends to support businesses of the two countries launch trips and mutual visits, provide business advice and act as a middle organization./.

                             By Nguyen Huong