HANOI, April 3 (Reuters) – Vietnam and Israel will sign a free trade agreement later this year, after completing seven years of negotiation, the Southeast Asian country’s government said on Monday.

Bilateral trade between the countries rose 18% last year to $2.2 billion, the government said in a statement. Vietnam’s largest exports to Israel include smartphones, footwear and seafood, while it imports electronics and fertiliser.

Vietnam has signed more than 15 bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements since the early 1990s, as it seeks to attract more foreign investors to its manufacturing-driven economy.

Reporting by Khanh Vu
Editing by Ed Davies

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