Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc (right) hosted a reception for Israeli Ambassador to Việt Nam Nadav Eshcar on Wednesday in Hà Nội. — VNA/VNS Photo Văn Điệp
HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc received Israeli Ambassador Nadav Eshcar in Hà Nội on Wednesday, expressing his hope that Israel will assist Việt Nam in innovation and start-up facilitation.
The host leader said he is impressed with Israel’s development, especially in terms of economy, agriculture and science-technology, which has helped turn the West Asian country with limited natural resources into a strong economy with developed science-technology in the world.
Affirming that Việt Nam attaches importance to the cooperation with Israel, PM Phúc expressed his delight at the strides in bilateral relations, particularly in trade, agriculture, science-technology and security-defence, making Israel one of the important partners of Việt Nam in the Middle East.
He also highly valued the ambassador’s contributions to the multifaceted ties between the two countries.
For his part, Eshcar said Việt Nam has done a good job of COVID-19 prevention and control and it is a role model in this regard, noting that his country admires and wishes to learn from the Southeast Asian nation’s experience as it is witnessing a second outbreak of the coronavirus.
According to the diplomat, the two countries hold much potential for enhancing cooperation in agriculture, technology and water management since Israel is experienced in applying modern technology in drought response and agriculture.
They can also boost connections in other spheres like cybersecurity and aviation technology, he suggested.
He voiced his hope that the two sides will soon take final steps to sign a bilateral free trade agreement and open a direct air route between Hà Nội and Tel Aviv, thus promoting bilateral exchange, trade and investment.
Agreeing with the ambassador’s view, PM Phúc said there remains much room for their countries’ cooperation.
The Government leader recommended that when possible, Việt Nam and Israel should organise delegation exchanges and cooperation mechanisms such as meetings of the joint committee and political consultations between their foreign ministries.
They need to work harder to raise bilateral trade by two to three times the current level by 2025, step up trade promotion activities, encourage Israeli businesses to take part in exhibitions and fairs held in Việt Nam, and assist Vietnamese firms to carry out promotion activities in Israel, he stressed.
Besides, they should also accelerate the negotiations on the bilateral free trade agreement, the PM said, asking Israel to help Việt Nam in the fields of innovation and start-up while welcoming its enterprises’ investment in these areas.
At the meeting, PM Phúc said Việt Nam prioritises developing agriculture in the future, especially hi-tech application in this sector.
He applauded recent cooperation activities in sharing experience in water resource management and use, which he said is a field Israel has strength in and Việt Nam has demand for and they need to keep bolstering partnership in.
Valuing the outcomes of the countries’ agricultural internship programme, he suggested Israel receive more agricultural interns from Việt Nam, adding that 635 Vietnamese have come to Israel under this programme in 2020.
The host voiced his support for the early signing of a protocol amending the air transport agreement between the two governments and the opening of a direct air route, which he believes will make bilateral investment, trade and exchange more vibrant.
He also called on both sides to step up negotiations of a bilateral agreement on labour cooperation and foster ties in education-training among their academies and universities by exchanging lecturers and students and granting scholarships for each other’s students.
On this occasion, PM Phúc congratulated Israel on its signing of an agreement to normalise relations with the UAE, adding that he hopes this will contribute to peace and stability in the Middle East. — VNS