President of Israel Reuven Ruvi Rivlin (Source: AP)
Hanoi (VNA) – The upcoming visit to Vietnam by President of Israel Reuven Ruvi Rivlin, which is made at the invitation of his Vietnamese counterpart Tran Dai Quang from March 19-25, is hoped to further strengthen and tighten Vietnam-Israel relations.

During the week-long visit, leaders of the countries will discuss measures to promote the bilateral cooperation across fields, while comparing notes on regional and international issues of common concern.

Vietnam and Israel established diplomatic ties on July 12, 1993. The two countries maintained the exchange of visits at all levels.

Trade links has grown stably, meeting the demand of both nations’ markets.

Israel was one of the countries recognising Vietnam’s full market economy. The two sides are negotiating the Vietnam-Israel Free Trade Agreement.

The two-way trade value hit 1.2 billion USD last year from only 68 million USD in 2005.

Vietnam mainly exported telephones, spare parts, footwear, coffee, cashews, textiles, and aquatic products, while importing machinery, hi-tech equipments and fertilizer.

As of January 2017, Israel had 25 valid projects in Vietnam with a total investment of 46.37 million USD, ranking 56th among 116 countries and territories investing in Vietnam.

The Israeli side pledged 250 million USD in credit support for Vietnamese enterprises that have business connection with Israeli counterparts.

The two countries also boast opportunities and great potential for cooperation in innovation and creativity, high-tech agriculture, and startup.

They are fostering links in agriculture, focusing on developing dairy cow breeding, and aquaculture. Israel supported the implementation of hi-tech agricultural projects in many localities in Vietnam.

Vietnam and Israel are also looking towards expanding cooperation in science and technology, especially agricultural technology and biotechnology, water treatment, telecommunication, food safety, and health care.

Regarding education and training, Israel helped train many Vietnamese technical and agricultural staff. The Middle East country received over 2,130 Vietnamese trainees to study agriculture and work in its farms over the last nine years.

In recent years, the two sides signed agreements and cooperative mechanisms, including the framework agreement on economic, science, technical, agriculture and trade cooperation in 1996; the agreement on double taxation avoidance and contraband prevention targeting taxes levied on incomes and properties; and the Memorandum of Understanding between the two ministries of Science and Technology on sci-tech research cooperation in 2009.

Vietnam and Israel also inked a Protocol on the establishment of a joint intergovernmental committee in 2013, and a memorandum of understanding on cooperation between their ministries of Foreign Affairs.-VNA