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Israel, Vietnam agree to direct flights in follow-up to free trade deal

Israelis can now enter the Southeast Asian country with electronic visas.

Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry Nir Barkat with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyễn Hồng Diên in Hanoi, Aug. 16, 2023. Credit: Israeli Economy Ministry Spokesperson.
Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry Nir Barkat with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyễn Hồng Diên in Hanoi, Aug. 16, 2023. Credit: Israeli Economy Ministry Spokesperson.

Israel and Vietnam signed an agreement in Hanoi on Wednesday to launch the first direct flights between their countries.

According to the agreement signed by Israeli Minister of Economy of Industry Nir Barkat and Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyễn Hồng Diên, flights between Hanoi and Tel Aviv will begin in October.

The accord also allows Israelis to enter the Southeast Asian country with electronic visas. Barkat said this takes effect immediately and eliminates the need for visitors to first go to the Vietnamese embassy in Tel Aviv to obtain visas.

“These are extremely significant achievements that will make it possible to increase trade and doing business between the countries,” Barkat said. “Vietnam is our gateway to Asia and is becoming a key and growing country. Tightening and strengthening our relations is important to Israel and Vietnam and I congratulate the Vietnamese government for their warm hospitality and willingness to strengthen the relationship between our peoples.”

Israel and Vietnam signed a free trade agreement in July that is expected to streamline tourism, reduce tariffs and provide a competitive advantage for Israeli exporters.

Einat Halevy Levin, president of the Israel-Vietnam Chamber of Commerce, said in July that the agreement would position Vietnam as a hub for Israeli business opportunities in Southeast Asia.

The FTA requires ratification from the Knesset and Vietnam’s National Assembly before it can take effect.

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