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

The agreement also allows Israelis to enter the country with an electronic visa.

By Pesach Benson, TPS

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

According the agreement signed by Israeli Minister of Economy Nir Barkat and his Vietnamese counterpart, Nguyen Hong Dien, flights between Hanoi and Tel Aviv are due to begin in October.

The agreement also allows Israelis to enter the country with an electronic visa. Barkat said this takes effect immediately and eliminates the need for visitors to first go to the Vietnamese embassy in Tel Aviv to obtain a visa. The use of electronic visas went into effect immediately.

“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.

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Einat Halevy Levin, president of the Israel-Vietnam Chamber of Commerce, told the Tazpit Press Service in July that the free trade agreement would also position Vietnam as a hub for Israeli business opportunities in Southeast Asia.

The free trade agreement requires final ratification from the Israeli Knesset and Vietnam’s National Assembly before it can take effect.