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 *First visit by high-ranking Vietnamese official since relations established between the 2 countries * Minister to participate in joint session of the economy committees of both governments and visit technological incubators * Minister to meet with Israeli counterpart, Minister of Economy Naftali Bennett

JERUSALEM – 23rd September 2014. The Vietnamese Minister of Science and Technology, Nguyen Quan, will head a large delegation of high-ranking Vietnamese government officials slated to visit Israel at the end of the month (28.9-2.10) and will hold, for the first time since the establishment of diplomatic relations 20 years ago, a session of the joint economic committee with officials from both governments. The Minister will lead the committee discussion on the Vietnamese side while Israeli Minister of Economy, Naftali Bennett, will lead discussion on the Israeli side.

The session comes as part of a full state visit by the Vietnamese Minister, including a tour of the New Generation Technology project in Nazareth, the Bio-Jerusalem project, visits to Israeli technology companies and a gala dinner with representatives of Israeli companies active in Vietnam.

The visit marks a high point in the strengthening of economic relations between Israel and Vietnam. Bilateral trade has reached approximately USD $1 billion per annum in recent years, and consequently the Foreign Trade Administration at the Israeli Ministry of Economy and the parallel authority in Vietnam have begun discussions to advance a free trade agreement. The recently-published Global Competitiveness Report by the World Economic Forum ranked Vietnam 68th of 144 countries. The report states Vietnam is a developing market with a highly-educated population (over 90 million people) and high rate of participation in the workforce by women - factors that combine to define Vietnam as the "Asian Tiger" of growth (growth projected in 2014 was 5.5%). Nevertheless, on innovation, Vietnam was not marked for distinction.

Ministry of Economy Trade Attaché to Vietnam, Tzafrir Assaf: "Vietnam has become highly attractive for small and medium-sized technology companies. The Vietnamese avoid purchasing cheaply-made technology products and are willing to pay for reliable and innovative solutions made in Israel. Small and medium exporters, offering niche solutions tailored to the needs of the customer, succeed in penetrating the Vietnamese market, with the help of local distributors we locate for them. The Vietnamese economy provides Israeli companies with significant opportunities and the visit by the technology minister is aimed at leveraging these opportunities. Thus, for example, we try to connect Israeli and Vietnamese technology companies, with the help of funding by the World Bank. In addition, the Ministry of Science and Technology is responsible for granting a company recognition as being 'Hi-Tech' and this holds financial significance for Israeli companies choosing to invest in Vietnam and increase their presence in the country."

Minister of Economy Naftali Bennett: "Part of the Ministry of Economy's responsibility is strengthening Israel's economic relations with developing countries and new markets around the world and Vietnam holds many opportunities for Israeli exporters. This summit of economic officials from both countries will pave the road for additional Israeli exporters and leverage our economic ties with this country, gaining a stronger footing in Asia and in the whole world."

The Foreign Trade Administration at the Ministry of Economy said that exports to Vietnam during 2013 amounted to USD $702 million compared to USD $745 million in 2012. The data marks a drop of 6%, which can be attributed to the strengthening shekel and weakening dong which occurred in tandem with the effects of the global financial crisis which hit Vietnam relatively late and hurt market demand. The leading fields of export were electronics and mineral components (mainly by Intel), chemical products, fertilizer, paints and telecommunications products. Imports from Vietnam reached USD $413.2 million in 2013 and $318 million in 2012. The data reflects a 30% rise in imports, mainly comprised of telecommunications products, animals, agriculture, food, textile products and footwear. The most significant rise was in imports of textile products and footwear.

 The visit marks a high point in the strengthening of economic relations between Israel and Vietnam



 Vietnam, Israel reach high-tech deal


Written by http://www.vietnambreakingnews.com/  

 Vietnam and Israel signed an agreement to boost economic cooperation, particularly on science and technology.

The deal was reached during Minister of Science and Technology Nguyen Quan's visit to Israel from September 28 – October 2 to attend the first meeting of the Inter-Governmental Committee for Economic and Technological Cooperation .

Quan, addressing the signing ceremony, said both sides would not only facilitate the exchange of scientists but also expand into human resources training and research.

Vietnam hoped to develop technology in the fields of agriculture and cyber security and safety with Israel, he said, and pledged maximum support to Israeli investors.

The country looked forward to launching talks on a free trade agreement with Israel as soon as possible, Quan added.

Israeli Economic Minister Naftali Bennett, for his part, expressed his hope for the value of bilateral trade to cross the threshold of 1 billion USD this year.

Agreeing with Bennett, the Ministry of the Economy's Trade Attaché Tzafrir Assaf said Vietnam was becoming increasingly attractive for small and medium-sized Israeli high-tech companies.

Last year, Israel exported goods worth 702 million USD to Vietnam and spent 413.2 million USD on imports, mostly garments and footwear.

Its major earners are electronics, chemicals, fertilisers, paint and telecommunication products.-VNA



 Israeli Economic Minister Naftali Bennett and Minister of Science and Technology Nguyen Quan (R) at the signing ceremony (Photo: VNA)