Vietnam and Israel aim to increase bilateral trade to 2 billion USD by 2016, officials said at the first Intergovernmental Committee meeting on September 30.

At the meeting, Vietnamese representatives said Vietnam was encouraging Israeli companies to invest in industries where Israel has great potential, including agriculture, high technology, information technology and telecommunications.

The two sides also agreed to map out suitable policies early to create favourable conditions for their respective business communities to improve cooperation in the production and use of recycled power.

Israeli representatives also said Israel would continue cooperating with Vietnam in the implementation of the financial protocol.

At the meeting, Vietnam also suggested that Israel make early comments on the draft of the cooperation agreement on customs between the two countries.

Trade between Vietnam and Israel has steadily increased in past years. Figures from the General Department of Customs show that bilateral trade between the two countries reached 605.24 million USD last year, a 38.15-percent year-on-year increase. Of these, an estimated 400.61 million USD came from Vietnamese exports.

Mobile phones and components were Vietnam's key export to Israel, reaching 200 million USD last year, a 107-percent year-on-year increase.

The value of Vietnamese seafood, coffee, cashew nuts, footwear and textiles and garments exports to Israel likewise increased significantly last year.

Israel ranked 62nd among 101 countries and territories investing in Vietnam last year, with 16 projects worth 20.65 million USD.-VNA