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PM Pham Minh Chinh appeals Vietnam-Israel free trade agreement
Son Nguyen 11:42, 2023/08/17
Innovation is one of Israel's strengths, with approximately 10,000 startups out of a population of 10 million.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on August 16 urged the governmental agencies of Vietnam and Israel to promptly bring the Vietnam-Israel Free Trade Agreement into effect to boost bilateral economic relations.

 Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (right) meets Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry Nir Barkat on August 16. Photo: VGP

He told Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry Nir Barkat during their meeting that the two governments should seek an agreement on industrial cooperation, increase business exchanges and trade promotion.

"Israel should buy more Vietnamese key products such as agro-aquatic products, fresh vegetables, processed food and home appliances," PM Chinh said.

The Vietnamese leader also called for strengthening partnerships between Vietnam and Israel in innovation, high-tech, maritime economy, and climate response. The focus would be on drought prevention for central coastal areas.

He called for more high-level meetings between the two governments and accelerated implementation of bilateral partnerships, such as the Intergovernmental Committee.

"Relations with Israel are always highly valued by Vietnam," Chinh emphasized.

He also expressed a willingness to connect Israel with other ASEAN nations.

Minister Nir Barkat emphasized that Vietnam remains an important partner for Israel in the region, citing the common traits and history between the two countries.

Israel looks forward to strengthening its comprehensive relations with this Southeast Asian nation, recognized as the gateway to the ASEAN market with a total population of 600 million.

The Israeli authorities are working diligently with their Vietnamese counterparts to expeditiously implement the Vietnam-Israel Free Trade Agreement, Nir Barkat said.

He agreed that the business communities of the two countries should strengthen their ties and foster cooperation, especially in high-tech development, health care, desertification control, maritime economy, fisheries, and innovation.

He also noted that innovation is a major strength for Israel, which has some 10,000 start-up companies out of a population of 10 million. He also highlighted tourism as another potential sector for cooperation.

Minister Nir pledged to support the Vietnam-Israel relationship in his capacity as Minister of Economy and Industry and Head of the Israel Subcommittee of the Vietnam-Israel Intergovernmental Committee.

In the first half of 2023, bilateral trade turnover amounted to about US$1.4 billion, an increase of 21% year-on-year. It consisted of $336.7 million of Vietnam's exports to Israel, down 17.6%, and imports of $1.05 billion, up 42.3%. 

Israel to bring local startups to Vietnam

Israel hopes to establish an investment fund to help Israeli startups operate in Vietnam, Economy and Industry Minister Nir Barkat said on August 16.

Vietnamese Minister of Science and Technology Huynh Thanh Dat (left) and Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry Nir Barkat at the August 16 meeting. Photo: VGP

Speaking at the 3rd Meeting of the Vietnam-Israel Intergovernmental Committee in Hanoi, Nir Barkat said the Israeli government wants to promote relations with Vietnam in startup incubation, innovation, and technology transfer.

The establishment of the financial fund will be mutually beneficial for the socio-economic growth of Vietnam and ASEAN, he said.

As Vietnam is among the countries severely affected by climate change, Minister Nir said that Israeli enterprises could provide technological solutions to combat desertification and improve agricultural activities in arid areas.

At the meeting, the Vietnamese Minister of Science and Technology, Huynh Thanh Dat, said that Vietnam is interested in the new trends in the world that fit the country's sustainable socio-economic development.

He called on Israeli companies to strengthen cooperation in agriculture, environment, energy education and training, homeland security, and national defense.

Israel is home to 10,000 start-up companies out of a population of 10 million. Israeli companies have invested about US$140.6 million in operations in Vietnam, while Vietnam has four projects in Israel with a total registered capital of US$82.7 million.

Israel is Vietnam's third-largest export market and fifth-largest trading partner in West Asia.

In the first half of 2023, bilateral trade turnover amounted to about US$1.4 billion, an increase of 21% year-on-year. It consisted of Vietnam's exports to Israel of $336.7 million, down 17.6%, and imports of $1.05 billion, up 42.3%.

The two countries aim to increase bilateral trade by 10-15% year-on-year in 2023 and to US$3 billion in the following years.

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TAG: Vietnam news Vietnam Israel relations Vietnam Israel free trade agreement Vietnam Israel Intergovernmental Committee Prime minister Pham Minh Chinh Vietnam foreign relations
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