Ho Chi Minh City Hosts Vietnam-Israel Business Forum

At a forum held in Hanoi on August 16, it was heard that the trade revenue between Vietnam and Israel is forecasted to reach a high of US$3-4 billion in the near future, and could even exceed that in the years ahead.

Vietnam-Israel Business Forum Takes Place in Ho Chi Minh City
The signing of a cooperation document at the forum. Photo: VNA

The Vietnam-Israel Business Forum was held in Ho Chi Minh City on August 15, organized by the Embassy of Israel in collaboration with the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).

In his opening speech, Nir Barkat, Israel’s Minister of Economy and Industry, expressed his appreciation for the recently signed free trade agreement between Israel and Vietnam. He believed that this agreement would create new opportunities for cooperation between the two countries.

Barkat mentioned that many European businesses sell their goods in the Israeli market at high prices. Israel is now open to new products and goods, and any product that has entered the EU market can also enter the Israeli market. Israel welcomes Vietnamese enterprises to do business and invest in the country, and is considering opening direct flights to Vietnam to promote tourism and facilitate trade between the two countries. Barkat also expressed Israel’s interest in setting up a venture capital fund in Vietnam.

In addition to the Israeli market with a population of over 9 million, Vietnamese businesses can also expand to potential markets in the Middle East and Southern Europe.

Trade between Vietnam and Israel jumps from 1.2 billion USD in 2019 to 2.2 billion USD last year. (Photo: VNA)
Trade between Vietnam and Israel jumps from US$1.2 billion in 2019 to US$2.2 billion last year. Photo: VNA

Vice Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, Vo Van Hoan, welcomed the Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry, Nir Barkat, and the Israeli business delegation to visit Ho Chi Minh City. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Israel, an important milestone in the growing bilateral relationship between the two countries.

Hoan believes that the free trade agreement between Vietnam and Israel will bring new cooperation opportunities for both countries, including Ho Chi Minh City. As the largest economic, cultural, and tourist center in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City is a large and potential market for domestic and foreign businesses.

Despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and the volatile economic situation, Ho Chi Minh City’s economy has been recovering quickly, demonstrating its potential as a market for investors from around the world, including Israeli investors.

The Vietnam-Israel Business Forum was organized to facilitate Vietnamese and Israeli businesses to meet, exchange information, and find potential partners. The Vice Chairman expressed optimism that the event would lead to the establishment of new relationships, signing of contracts, and achievements in the Vietnam-Israel relationship as well as between Israel and Ho Chi Minh City.

Since 1997, the two countries have signed agreements on agricultural cooperation. Israel has supported Vietnam in implementing projects and transferring technology in animal husbandry, farming, and irrigation, contributing to the development of Vietnam’s agricultural industry.

In terms of investment, Israel has 40 FDI projects in Vietnam with a total capital of over US$140 million. It ranks 47th out of 148 countries and territories investing in Vietnam. Israel is also Vietnam’s 5th largest trading partner and the 3rd largest export market in the Middle East.

In 2022, the total import-export turnover between Vietnam and Israel reached US$2.2 billion, with Vietnam’s export turnover to Israel amounting to US$785.7 million and import turnover from Israel reaching US$1.4 billion. The two countries aim to increase bilateral trade turnover to reach US$3 billion USD.

Rosie Nguyen