Israel expanded their trade prowess in Asia on Tuesday, signing a free trade agreement with Vietnam. This is the second east Asian nation to sign such an accord with Israel, the other being South Korea. “Vietnam is a vibrant, growing economy. Israel is a vibrant, growing economy. And our cooperation I think creates new horizons that will make us more successful together in the future,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in comments published by Israel.
The agreement is expected to improve trade between the nations and result in reduced customs duties. According to the Israeli press release, this accord will “provide a competitive advantage and ease activity for Israeli exporters in the developing and growing Vietnamese market, thereby strengthening Israeli exports and increasing growth in the economy.”
Netanyahu, who attended the deal signing in Jerusalem, sees the agreement as an important step forward in their relationship with the Asian nation. “We’ve had excellent relations over the past few decades but this is an important turning point,” said Netanyahu. “We are formally signing an agreement that will expand our trade, which is robust, to be even more robust. I look forward to increasing our ties with innovation, with all the areas that can better the lives of both our peoples.”
Innovation was a theme of the day, as strengthened cooperation in that realm, as well as tourism and agriculture, were topics of conversation between Netanyahu and visiting Vietnamese Deputy Premier Tran Luu Quang. They also discussed the possibility of direct flights between the nations.
The sides also marked 30 years of diplomatic relations between Israel and Vietnam.
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, July 25, 2023)