Israel's Minister of Economy and Industry Orna Barbivai and the UAE's Minister of Economy Abdulla bin Touq al-Marri signed a free trade agreement between the two countries this morning in Dubai. The agreement is expected to increase exports and imports between Israel and the UAE and will remove excise from an estimated 96% of the bilateral trade between the two countries including: food, agriculture, cosmetics, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals and more. The free trade agreement covers such issues as regulations and standards, excise, cooperation, government procurement, e-commerce, and protecting IP rights.
This is the first free trade agreement between Israel and an Arab state and has been pushed through only 20 months after the countries established full diplomatic relations. The UAE only has free trade agreements with its Gulf neighbors and the EFTA countries (Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein). The agreement means that Israel will be able to trade tariff free throughout the Gulf via the UAE.
Barbivai said, "This is an even of historic importance for economic relations between the State of Israel and the UAE - the first free trade agreement with an Arab country. The free trade agreement that we signed this morning will strengthen trade between the two countries, remove barriers and promote new business opportunities and partnerships, which will represent a robust base for our joint journey."
Bin Touq al-Marri said, "In accordance with the instructions of our leadership, the UAE continues to take daring steps forward to promote our economy and improve our status as a regional trade center for future investments and industry. The trade agreement with Israel creates a new paradigm in the region. This agreement will speed up economic growth and strengthen our joint belief that the only way to build a resilient and sustainable economy in a complex world is together. This agreement also symbolizes something bigger than business: the importance of building major partnerships. Our agreement can prove to peoples and governments around the world that cooperation and dialogue are the best way to turn challenges into opportunities."
Since the Abraham Accords were signed in September 2021, joint trade between Israel and the UAE has totaled more than $1 billion, according to the foreign trade administration at the Ministry of Economy and Industry, including $885 million in 2021. The foreign trade administration expects the free trade agreement to increase joint trade by hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on May 31, 2022.
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2022.