This is the highest level visit by an Israeli leader to Vietnam since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1993.
Vietnam and Israel established diplomatic ties in July, 1993. Israel has opened an embassy in Hanoi and Vietnam also has its embassy in Tel Aviv. The two countries have expanded bilateral co-operation in all fields of economics, trade, education and culture. In March 2010, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung approved a policy to boost multi-faceted co-operation between the two countries.
Vietnam and Israel have exchanged visits over the past years signing numerous agreements such as the Framework Agreement on Economic, Scientific and Agricultural Co-operation; agreements on co-operation in tourism, agriculture, economics and trade, as well as culture-information and aviation transport; finance protocol; agreement on visa exemption for diplomatic and official passport holders; agreement on double tax avoidance and to prevent income and property tax evasion.
The commercial ties between Vietnam and Israel have gradually developed with two-way trade reaching US$220 million in 2010, up 34% over 2008. Vietnam exports footwear, clothing and agricultural products to Israel while it imports hi-tech equipment, chemicals and fertiliser from this market.
Israel has also attached importance to developing ties with Vietnam and sent many high-ranking delegations to Vietnam. Israeli experts in science, technology, agriculture, irrigation and the environment have come to Vietnam to transfer technology. A number of delegations of doctors from Israel have also provided free medical check-ups and treatment for people in the northern and central provinces of Vietnam.
In addition, Israel has regularly provided Vietnamese students with short-term training scholarships in science and technology, agriculture, irrigation and environmental protection.
Israel is one of Vietnam’s important labour markets that received 1,000 guest workers in 2010.
Israel and Vietnam have signed a finance protocol, under which Israel pledged to provide US$150 million to Vietnam to assist Vietnamese businesses in conducting trade with Israeli partners.
Several agricultural co-operation projects using Israeli technology in Hanoi, Hai Phong, Nghe An, Lam Dong and Ho Chi Minh City have recorded initial successful results.
The two countries are now preparing to establish a joint intergovernmental committee to further comprehensive bilateral co-operation.
May the official visit to Vietnam by President Shimon Peres be a success, contributing to strengthening multifaceted co-operation between the two countries, particularly in agriculture, science, technology, investment, trade, labour and tourism, thereby bringing their bilateral co-operation to a new level of development.