President Reuven Rivlin, accompanied by an Israeli business delegation, is visiting Vietnam, and Israeli and Vietnamese companies signed memoranda of understanding on Wednesday related to projects in the fields of medicine, energy and informal education.Although it was known in advance of the state visit that it would include the signing of memoranda of understanding, nothing was finalized until the signing ceremonies in Hanoi on Wednesday. The MoUs were signed in the presence of Rivlin, Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien, Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung, Ambassador to Vietnam Meirav Eilon Shahar and other notables.Yavne-based Ormat Technologies, which provides alternative and renewable energy technology, signed a MoU with Vietnam’s EVN Electric Company for the establishment of a power station at the Bimsom cement factory, which is operated by Vietnam’s VICEM company. The Vietnamese are interested in acquiring Israeli know-how in all matters related to energy.
The MoU in informal education was signed by the Israel Association of Community Centers and Talent Pool, Vietnam’s largest informal education and training enterprise.Community centers as they exist in Israel are unknown in Vietnam, but the Southeast Asian county is eager to learn from the Israeli model so that it can build its own community- run facilities.The agreement for the construction of a private, 300- bed hospital was possibly one of the most urgent, and was signed by Israeli companies Staromedic International and MedicDan and Vietnam’s TH Group with the participation of Health Minister Nguyen.The hospital will be a state of the art facility with electronic records that will enable physicians to view the medical histories of patients online.While the agreements were being signed, the president’s wife, Nechama Rivlin, met with Vietnamese women who are graduates of Mashav, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation, which is a branch of the Foreign Ministry. Mashav enables men and women from all over the world to enrich their professional know-how so that they can be more effective in what they do. Many come to Israel for advanced training.Nechama Rivlin was impressed by the women she met. They were working in a number of professions including education, caregiving, quality of the environment, gender equality, agriculture, technology and communications.Each of them said that when she told her family that she was going to Israel to upgrade her qualifications, the reaction was “But that’s a place of war.” Any trepidation which they might have had faded soon after their arrival in Israel. They found the country to be enchanting and they were amazed by the advances in science, culture, creativity tolerance and – cherry tomatoes.There was nothing threatening in the environment. It was full of hope, they told the president’s wife as they shared their Israel experiences with her.“We’re sometimes too self-critical,” said Nechama Rivlin. “After these ambassadors of Mashav spoke to me, I thanked them for the feeling of pride and hope that they gave me for what we are doing in our country, and even more in what we are doing as human beings for other human beings from around the world.”
Presiden Reuven Rivlin at a weapons exhibition in Vietnam (credit: GPO)