Creating new perspectives since 2009

Vietnam and Israel sign free trade agreement

July 25, 2023 at 3:26 pm

The flag of Vietnam seen in the gallery of flags of the participating countries in the framework of St. Petersburg [Konstantinov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images]

Vietnam and Israel signed a free trade agreement on Tuesday, predicting it would quickly boost annual bilateral trade by nearly 50 per cent, Reuters reports.

The agreement was signed in Israel between the two countries’ trade ministers after seven years of negotiations, Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade said in a statement.

The agreement is expected to soon bring bilateral trade to $3 billion, the Ministry said, after trade between the countries rose 18 per cent last year to $2.2 billion.

The deal will “facilitate Vietnam’s exports of its products, not only to Israel, but also pave the way for Vietnamese products to access other Middle East, North African and southern European markets,” it said.

READ: Egypt condemns recent Israel attacks on Palestine

It was the second free trade deal Israel has signed with a country in Asia, following South Korea in 2021, and the first with a member of the Association of South-east Asian Nations.

Israel’s Economy Ministry said it would give “a competitive edge and facilitate activity” for Israeli exporters in the Vietnamese market.

Vietnam’s largest exports to Israel include smart phones, footwear and seafood, while it imports electronics and fertilisers.

The agreement will ultimately remove duties on at least 86 per cent of Vietnamese products and 93 per cent of Israeli products, Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade said.

Vietnam has signed 16 bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements since the early 1990s, as it seeks to attract more foreign investors to its manufacturing-driven economy.

READ: Israel, US plan trade corridor connecting Israel with Gulf States