Since 2015, Vietnam has become one of the 5 largest importers of Israeli arms. Israel and Vietnam hold close economic and military relations. Israel exported among others drones, missiles and rifles to Vietnam.
Vietnam and Israel established diplomatic relations on July 12, 1993, followed by Israel opening its resident embassy in Hanoi in December 1993. Israeli-Vietnamese relations are expanding in the fields of agriculture, commerce, science, and technology, and – most importantly – in the defense sphere. Bilateral trade volume touched $1.3 billion in 2016 and the countries aspire to take it to an annual $2 billion. In 2004, the countries signed the Agreement of Economic and Trade Cooperation for further development of trade.
In addition to trading arms, Israel and Vietnam are engaged in joint ventures in the production of weapons systems suitable to the needs of the Vietnamese armed forces. Israel’s entry into this defense market is timely, as Hanoi is undergoing modernization programs for all three military services.
In 2011-12, Israel Weapon Industries established a production facility (at a cost of $100 million) in Vietnam to help supply Galil ACE 31 and 32 assault rifles to the Vietnam People’s Army (VPA).
In March 2015, the two countries concluded a memorandum of understanding on defense cooperation that codified areas for expanded defense trade, technology transfer and licensed production. In the same year Israel set up a defense attaché in Vietnam.
In October 2018 an agreement was signed between the Israeli Ministry of Defense and the Vietnamese Ministry of Defense about military cooperation between Israel and Vietnam.For the first time: a security memorandum of understanding with Vietnam
The frequency of visits by military officials, which has become an annual phenomenon, is another manifestation of the keenness on both sides to intensify military ties, in the last three years there were numerous meeting between Israeli officials like the Prime Minister, the President, the C.E.O of the Ministry of Defense and the Director of SIBAT with Vietnamese officials.
In the last years evidence grows of a shared interest in stronger cooperation of the two countries around cyber-security.
A few shared conferences and seminars were held in cooperation between Vietnam and Israel between 2016-2019.SAVE THE DATE!!! Vietnam-Israel: Business to Business Partnering | Cyber SecurityVIET NAM ISRAEL KET NOI HOP TAC AN TOAN AN NINH MANGVietnam to develop strategic plan on cyber security
An investigation revealed in 2021 that Cellebrite sold its digital forensics tools to a Vietnamese Ministry.What Vietnam Is Doing With Israeli Phone-hacking Tech
Usage of Israeli Arms
“Matador” anti-tank weapons – used by Vietnamese Marines.
“EXTRA” rocket artillery – used by Vietnamese Coastal Defense.
SPYDER surface-to-air missile systems used by Vietnamese Air Force.Lee Ann Quann on Twitter: “Israel-made SPYDER surface-to-air missile systems of Vietnam People Airforce during maneuvers, deployments and live-firing excercises. All of Vietnam SPYDER batteries … Continue reading
Human Rights Violations
One of the most pressing human rights concerns in Vietnam today is the prohibition of basic human rights as the freedom of speech, expression and opinion, the freedom of media and access to information and the freedom of religion. At least 30 activists and dissidents were sentenced to prison in Vietnam in 2019 simply for exercising their fundamental rights to freedom of expression, association, and religion. Activists and bloggers suffered surveillance, travel bans, physical assaults, interrogation, and arrest, and courts convicted and sentenced them to long prison terms. Activists and bloggers frequently are assaulted by officials or thugs who appear to work in coordination with authorities and enjoy impunity. Vietnamese police routinely place activists under house arrest or briefly detain them to prevent them from participating in meetings and protests or attending the trials of fellow activists.
In January 2019 Vietnam’s problematic cybersecurity law went into effect. The overly broad and vague law gives authorities wide discretion to censor free expression and requires service providers to take down content that authorities consider offensive within 24 hours of receiving the request. At least 25 people were convicted for expressing critical opinions on the internet. The cyber security law and draft decree’s data retention, localization, and surveillance provisions would facilitate greater access to user data by abusive security bureaus and law enforcement authorities, without adequate safeguards for privacy, fair trial rights, and other rights.