HCM CITY — Israel plans to use its strong IT and aerospace industries and biological technologies applied in agriculture to increase its co-operation with Viet Nam, according to Ambassador Dinh Xuan Luu.
These sectors were key to Viet Nam industrialisation and modernisation, Luu told the Israel-Viet Nam Business Forum in HCM City on Wednesday.
A delegation of nine Israeli businesses operating in environmental management, information technology, telecommunications, dairy farming technology, electronics, water technology, medical herbs and transport infrastructure attended the forum.
Luu said Israel, one of the world’s leading countries in IT and bio-technologies, was a potential destination for Vietnamese businesses to look for partners.
Using advanced IT technology, Israel has developed micro satellite and nano satellites weighing as little as 1kg, and also used IT to boost agricultural productivity with amazing results including a productivity of 400 tonnes of tomatoes per hectare, Luu said.
It is called “vegetable garden” of Western Europe.
Luu said the forum also provided a chance for Israeli businesses to learn more about the Vietnamese market.
Ran Yehezkel, commerce representative of the Israeli Embassy in Viet Nam, said Israel and Viet Nam had clinched a bilateral financial protocol to establish a US$150 million fund to support Israeli and Vietnamese companies which do business together.
Vietnamese companies would be able to apply for credit assistance with preferential interest rates and favourable conditions for their transactions with Israeli counterparts.
Last year, Viet Nam and Israel signed an agreement on Double Taxation Avoidance plus other deals for Trade and Economic Co-operation, Culture and Education Co-operation, Air Transport Services and Agricultural Co-operation to promote bilateral trade between the two countries.
Vo Tan Thanh, director of HCM City’s branch of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said bilateral turnover had increased in recent years, reaching $159.5 million in 2008.
In nine months of last year, Vietnamese exports to Israel reached $51.9 million and imports reached $86 million.
Major exports to Israel include seafood, garment, footwear and handicrafts, while imports include fertiliser, chemicals and telecommunication and security equipment.
Thanh said Israel ranked 64th out of 84 investors in Viet Nam. It has eight investment projects so far with a total capital of $11.6 million.
The event was organised by the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry in collaboration with the Embassy of Viet Nam in Israel and the Embassy of Israel in Viet Nam. — VNS