Vietnam, Israel conclude FTA negotiations

Vietnam and Israel on April 2 announced the conclusion of negotiations for their free trade agreement (FTA), creating a premise for the two countries to sign the deal right this year.

The announcement was made at a working session between Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien and Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry Nir Barkat during the former’s ongoing visit to Israel.

Dien said with the reciprocal economies and growing two-way trade, the two countries will benefit much from the agreement, whose negotiations lasted seven years with 12 rounds.

He suggested the two sides step up coordination and delegation exchange to seek and promote cooperation opportunities in trade and investment, and encouraged Israel’s businesses to invest in Vietnam in such areas as industry, high-tech agriculture, IT, green production and industrial infrastructure.

Dien also called on Israel to share its experience and technology in digital economy, digital transformation and energy transition.

For his part, Barkat agreed to continue with cooperation and exchange activities between the two ministries, as well as trade promotion programmes in order to facilitate the operation of their enterprises, enabling them to optimise the VIFTA once it is put into place.

According to the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade, Israel is Vietnam’s third biggest importer and fifth largest trade partner in West Asia.

Last year, the bilateral trade reached 2.2 billion USD, up 17.9% year-on-year, of which Vietnam’s export was valued at 785.7 million USD and  its import hit 1.4 billion USD.