Upgrading Vietnam-Israel cooperation

10:32 | 17/04/2017 Cooperation

(VEN) - Israeli President Reuven Rivlin’s official visit to Vietnam from March 19 to 25 was aimed at increasing economic cooperation and tightening bilateral relations in a variety of fields.

upgrading vietnam israel cooperation
Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang (right) meets his Israeli counterpart Reuven Rivlin

Deepening diplomatic relations

At a meeting with his Israeli counterpart on March 20, Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang affirmed Vietnam’s willingness to maintain its friendship and partnership with the State of Israel in the international arena. In its external relations policy, Vietnam attaches great importance to developing friendly and cooperative relations with countries in the Middle East, including Israel. Vietnam wants to deepen its relations with Israel for mutual benefit, as well as for peace and friendship in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and the entire world.

Since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1993, Vietnam and the State of Israel have maintained the exchange of delegations at different levels. Notable examples include Israeli President Shimon Peres’ visit to Vietnam in 2011 and Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai’s visit to Israel in 2015. The two sides have signed cooperation agreements in economics, science, agriculture, trade, tourism and national security.

Increasing economic cooperation

Israel recognized Vietnam’s full market economy status on May 29, 2016. Bilateral trade reached over US$1.2 billion in 2016. Israel currently has 25 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects ongoing in Vietnam with total registered capital of more than US$46 million. The Israeli government has provided Vietnam with US$1 million in official development assistance (ODA).

President Rivlin said he has high esteem for Vietnam’s socioeconomic development achievements in recent years, and expressed his belief that tighter cooperation between the two governments, as well as between the two business communities, will bring bilateral relations to new heights. The two sides agreed to consider economic cooperation as the focus of bilateral relations and to prioritize scientific and technological cooperation.

During the visit, Vietnamese businesses had a meeting with 30 leading Israeli companies. They discussed cooperation possibilities in trade, agriculture, science, technology and national security. The meeting offered Israeli companies a chance to learn about the Vietnamese market, introduce their products and advanced technologies, and seek cooperation opportunities.

Vietnam and Israel are accelerating negotiations to sign a free trade agreement in the near future, looking towards the goal of raising annual bilateral trade to US$3 billion in the next few years. The two sides agreed to encourage and create favorable conditions for businesses and localities to promote cooperation and investment in high-tech agriculture, human resources training and water treatment.

Israel currently has 25 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects ongoing in Vietnam, with total registered capital of more than US$46 million. The Israeli government has provided Vietnam with US$1 million in official development assistance (ODA)

Kim Chi