Vietnam, Israel sign free trade agreement

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(VOVWORLD) -Vietnam and Israel signed a bilateral free trade agreement in Jerusalem on Tuesday, creating a legal corridor for the two countries to promote economic development and trade exchanges.

Vietnam, Israel sign free trade agreement - ảnh 1Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: VGP/Hai Minh 

Signatories to the document were Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien and Israeli Minister of Economy Nir Barkat. The signing ceremony was witnessed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang who is in Israel for an official visit.

The Vietnam-Israel Free Trade Agreement (VIFTA) was signed following 12 rounds of negotiations lasting for seven years. The signing of the deal is to celebrate 30 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries this year.

Israel is the first country in West Asia with which Vietnam has signed a free trade agreement, and Vietnam is also the first country in Southeast Asia that Israel has signed an FTA with. Israel is currently one of Vietnam’s leading trade, investment and labor cooperation partners in West Asia.

The signing and implementation of VIFTA will create a favorable premise for Vietnam to export its strong products not only to Israel but also to other markets in the Middle East, North Africa and Southern Europe.

Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang on Tuesday concluded his 3-day visit to Israel. Earlier, he held talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv and affirmed that Vietnam attaches great importance to the friendship and multi-faceted cooperation with Israel.

The Deputy Prime Minister emphasized that the two sides should consider science-technology and high-tech agriculture as priority areas for cooperation, saying Vietnam encourages and will create favorable conditions for Israeli businesses to increase investment. He suggested that Israel increase the number of Vietnamese trainees it receives annually and speed up negotiations and soon sign a labor cooperation agreement.

Prime Minister Netanyahu called Vietnam an important partner of Israel and with complementary advantages, the two sides have great potential to enhance cooperation in all fields, especially in science-technology, start-ups, high-tech agriculture, water treatment technology, and health care.