40 Israeli Companies Opened Branches in Vietnam This Year

With Agriculture Minister Simchon on his way to an official visit in Vietnam, no fewer than 200 Israeli companies are doing business in Viet

Hillel Fendel ,

With Agriculture Minister Shalom Simchon on his way to Vietnam for an official visit, it has been reported that no fewer than 200 Israeli companies are doing business in Vietnam - including 40 that began this year. So says Export Institute Director Yechiel Asiyah.

Taking part in Shalom's visit is a delegation of representatives of 12 Israeli companies, headed by Yitzchak Kiryati, head of the Export Institute's Agriculture, Water and Environment Department.

Talks will focus on plans for the model dairy that Israel has agreed to build in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), as well as agricultural biotechnology, greenhouses, irrigation, handling of produce, and more.

Among the companies participating in the visit are Israel's agricultural export concern Agrexco, Netafim (drip irrigation), S.A.E. Afikim (dairy farm management), Amiad (clean water solutions), Abic (a Teva company dealing with veterinary supplies), Bermad (water control solutions), and more.

Israel's exports to Vietnam have grown by 3% since last year, and now total $36.6 million. Israel's chief exports to Vietnam are mineral and mining products ($9.8 million), telecommunications ($9.7 million, a growth of 35%), and chemicals ($6.6 million).

Vietnam, in southeast Asia, is an eastern neighbor of Cambodia and Laos, which in turn lie on Thailand's eastern border.

Though Vietnam has a growing economy and has recently joined the World Trade Organization, large sectors of the population still do not have a regular supply of clean water. Some 170 urban water projects are currently being planned; the goal is to supply clean water to 85%of the households in 2010, and 100% by 2020.

Milk is also in short supply in Vietnam, and the country gives high priority to the development of an independent milk industry.