Vietnam and Israel should make more efforts to expand their trade to 2 billion USD in 2015 and higher in the following years, said Chairman of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Economic Affairs Vuong Dinh Hue.

At his working session with Israeli Minister of the Economy Aryeh Deri on June 28, the visiting Vietnamese official said his country wishes to intensify multifaceted cooperation with Israel, especially in economics.

Bilateral trade exceeded 1 billion USD in 2014 and shot up over 80 percent in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the same period last year, Hue noted, adding that the two countries hold massive collaboration potential, particularly in science-technology, agriculture, security-defence, trade and investment.

To reach the 2015 trade target, he asked Israel to create optimal conditions for Vietnamese strengths like tea, coffee, rice, seafood, handicrafts and natural rubber to enter its market. He also suggested the host country increase direct investments in Vietnam’s hi-tech agriculture and processing industries.

In return, Vietnam is willing to facilitate Israel’s export of hi-tech and quality products, transfer of science-technology, and funding of production activities in the Southeast Asian country, he added.

Hue said the two sides should also foster partnerships in other potential fields such as energy, information technology, new material production and consumer goods and food industries.

He also urged the rapid completion of a joint research report on the feasibility of negotiations on a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) and asked Israel to recognise Vietnam’s full market economy to enable FTA talks to commence as soon as possible.

For his part, Israeli Minister Aryeh Deri rejoiced at the substantial progress seen in bilateral relations since the countries set up diplomatic ties in July 1993 and pledged his utmost efforts to enhance their multifaceted cooperation.

He agreed with the Vietnamese side’s proposals and said the two governments should create policies supporting agricultural affiliation, especially in copyright registration, intellectual property and investment funds.

The official also concurred with the need for the expeditious conclusion of an evaluation report on FTA talks, adding that Israel will actively consider recognising Vietnam’s full market economy.

At the meeting, Israel consented to share its experience in building a start-up business system and technological incubators and committed to continuing to train Vietnamese agricultural farmers and considering receiving guest workers from the country.

Also on June 28, Commission Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue met with executives of the LR and ORCA groups, which are running several projects in Vietnam.-VNA