There remains ample space for Vietnam and Israel to enhance their economic and trade cooperation, towards building a business ecosystem for their business communities in the time ahead, heard a forum in Ho Chi Minh City on August 15.
The Vietnam-Israel business and trade forum was jointly held by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI)’s chapter in Ho Chi Minh City and the Embassy of Israel in Vietnam.
The Vietnam-Israel business and trade forum held in Ho Chi Minh City on August 15.
Addressing the event, Director of the VCCI’s Ho Chi Minh City chapter Tran Ngoc Liem noted that since the two countries established diplomatic ties 30 years ago, they have become leading important partners of each other in Southeast Asia and West Asia, respectively.
As of July 20, Israel ran 40 FDI projects worth more than 140 million USD in Vietnam, ranking 47th among the 148 countries and territories investing in the country.
Meanwhile, Vietnam invested in four projects valued at some 76 million USD in Israel, he added.
Israel is now Vietnam’s fifth biggest trade partner and third largest importer in the Middle East. It ranks 33rd among more than 200 countries and territories that have trade ties with the Southeast Asian nation.
The two economies are reciprocal, Liem stressed, adding that two-way trade reached 2.2 billion USD last year, up 17.9% from 2021, of which Vietnam’s export value hit 785.7 million USD.
Some Vietnamese goods such as mobile phones and components, agro-aquatic products, footwear, and garment-textiles have gained a firm foothold in the Israeli market, he went on.
Liem emphasised that Vietnam always creates optimal conditions for Israeli enterprises to invest in the country in industrial production, high-tech agriculture, materials, information technology, green and clean production, and industrial infrastructure development.
The two countries are working hard to raise their bilateral trade to 3 billion USD in the time ahead, he said.
Regarding the Vietnam-Israel Free Trade Agreement (VIFTA) signed on July 25, Liem stressed that Israel is the first country in West Asia with which Vietnam has reached an FTA. Vietnam is also the first Southeast Asian nation with which Israel has inked such deal.
The agreement is expected to facilitate Vietnam’s export to not only Israel but also other markets in the Middle East, North Africa and Southern Europe.
In return, Israel’s goods and technologies will find it easier to access markets in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Asia-Pacific and other major markets in the 16 FTAs in which Vietnam is a signatory.
Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry Nir Barkat briefed the participants on Israel’s strengths and potential, and affirmed that the Israeli Government has adopted mechanisms and policies to encourage businesses to expand investment and cooperation abroad.
The VIFTA will offer opportunities for the two sides to boost their trade and investment ties, and form a business ecosystem, he said.
The minister pointed to limitations in transport connectivity and market information sharing, which have hindered the bilateral cooperation, and suggested the two countries soon launch direct flights between Ho Chi Minh City and Israel to foster the collaboration.
Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Vo Van Hoan said the southern metropolis wants to enhance cooperation with and attract more Israeli enterprises in such areas as digital economy, science-technology, high-tech agriculture and renewable energy.