Strengthening co-operation between Vietnam and Israel

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Israeli President Reuven Ruvi Rivlin and his wife have begun a State-level visit to Vietnam at the invitation of President Tran Dai Quang.

Israeli President Reuven Ruvi Rivlin and his wife have begun a State-level visit to Vietnam at the invitation of President Tran Dai Quang.


President Tran Dai Quang (left) and his Israeli counterpart Reuven Ruvi Rivlin inspect the guard of honour at the welcome ceremony.

Located in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, despite its dry land and poor natural resources, Israel has gained great achievements in economy thanks to the application of high technology to agriculture, industry and defence. Israel is ranked highly among developed countries, being one of 25 nations with the highest per capita income in the world; it also leads the world in productivity and quality of agricultural products. The country has a well-developed industry with industrial production serving for exports accounting for nearly 90% of exports turnover; and ranks second in the world in relation to the number of information technology enterprises, following Silicon valley in the United State.

Israel’s GDP per capita reached US$33,700 in 2015 and GDP growth was around 3% in 2016. In regards to the economic structure of the country, agriculture accounts for 2.4%, industry for 25.7% and services for 71.9%. Thanks to the development of high technology, Israel has become a chief exporter of diamonds, hi-tech equipment, computer software, chemicals, textiles and garments; and mostly imports grains, crude oil, raw materials and rough diamonds, with major partners of the US, China, the UK, Germany, Switzerland and Belgium.

Israel has established diplomatic ties with nearly 170 nations around the world; become a member of many international organisations including the United Nations (UN), the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO), and the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1993, Vietnam and Israel have made efforts to enhance co-operation in many fields. The two sides have exchanged delegations at all levels,notably with visits made to Vietnam by former Israeli President Shimon Peres in November 2011 and to Israel by former Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai (now Politburo member and Secretary of Hanoi municipal Party Committee) in 2015.

The two countries have signed numerous agreements, including a framework agreement on co-operation in economics, science, technique, agriculture and trade in 2016; agreement on cultural and information co-operation in 2005; and a memorandum of understanding between the two Ministries of Foreign Affairs in 2015. The two sides held the first session of the Intergovernmental Committee in Tel Aviv in October 2014.

The economic and trade ties between Vietnam and Israel have been registering impressive developments, with two-way tradeincreasing from US$222 million in 2010 to US$1.2 billion in 2016. Vietnam mainly exports phones and components, shoes, coffee, cashew nuts, textiles and garments and seafood to Israel; and imports mainly high-tech machines and equipment and fertiliser. Israel has officially recognised Vietnam as having a full market economy. The two countries are negotiating the Vietnam - Israel Free Trade Agreement (VIFTA).

As of January 2017, Israel has had 25 unexpired direct investment projects in Vietnam with total investment amounting to over US$46 million, ranking 56th among 116 countries and territories investing in Vietnam.

The Dairy Demonstration and Experimental Farm, with technical support and over US$1 million of non-refundableofficial development assistance (ODA) capital provided by Israel, has been officially put into operation. Israel has also committed to providing a credit package of US$250 million to Vietnamese enterprises which are operating trade co-operation with Israeli partners. The scientific and technological co-operation between the two countries has been promoted in localities. Israel has supported the implementation of numerous projects of advanced technology transfers in crop and livestock farming and irrigation in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City; projects for livestock development, improving the production of fruit trees, and saving irrigation water. Regarding education, training and labouring co-operation, since 2008 Israel has received over 2,130 Vietnamese trainees studying and working at farms with time-limit of one year; and allowed around 1,400 Vietnamese agricultural workers since 2010.

During the visit of Israeli President Reuven Ruvi Rivlin to Vietnam, the two countries’ leaders will discuss measures to strengthen their co-operation in trade, investment, agriculture as well as give views on regional and international issues of mutual concerns.

The State visit aims to promote co-operation in many potential fields of the two countries as well as deepen Vietnam – Israel relations and bring the multifaceted co-operation between the two nations to a new stage, contributing to the world’s peace, stability, co-operation and development.

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