Vietnam and Israel have announced that negotiations for their free trade agreement (FTA) already came to an end, paving the way for the two countries to strike the deal within this year.
The announcement was made at a working session on Sunday between Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien and Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry Nir Barkat during the Vietnamese trade official’s visit to Israel, according to Vietnam's Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Given their complementary economies and sharply increasing two-way trade, Vietnam and Israel are expected to reap enormous benefits from the deal, Minister Dien said.
The Vietnamese trade official suggested the two sides boost cooperation and delegation exchanges to seek opportunities in trade and investment at trade fairs and expos held in the two countries.
He also called on Israeli enterprises to invest in Vietnam, especially in fields such as industry, hi-tech agriculture, information technology, and green production, among others.
Minister Dien requested the Israeli side to share its experience and technology in digital economy, digital transformation, and energy transition.
The Israeli minister agreed to further implement cooperation and exchange activities between the two sides and bolster trade promotion events to create optimal conditions for both Vietnamese and Israeli businesses to make the most of the upcoming FTA.
The conclusion of their FTA negotiations took place while Vietnam and Israel are set to celebrate their 30th anniversary of diplomatic ties this year.
Both sides stated that the Vietnam-Israel FTA will be a comprehensive deal of high-quality.
The accord is expected to enhance their bilateral trade by lifting tariffs imposed on goods and removing non-tariff barriers, while promoting trade and investment activities.
Israel is among Vietnam’s top partners in terms of trade, investment, and labor in West Asia.
Israel is the third-largest buyer of Vietnamese products as well as the fifth-largest trade partner of Vietnam in the region.
Last year, their trade reached US$2.2 billion, improving nearly 18 percent against the same period in 2021.
Vietnam shipped over $785 million worth of products to Israel while importing $1.4 billion worth of goods from the latter that year.