Israel's Minister of Economy Eli Cohen and UK Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox signed a trade and cooperation agreement between Israel and the UK last week. The agreement provides for continuity in trade relations between the two countries after Britain leaves the European Union, which is due to happen on March 29.
The announcement of the agreement said that "the fact that Secretary of State Fox came for the signing is testimony to the importance of commercial relations between the countries and the satisfaction in London at ever closer trading ties." The British ambassador to Israel David Quarrey and the head of the foreign trade administration in the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry Ohad Cohen also took part in the signing ceremony.
The UK is Israel's largest trading partner in Europe, and its third largest worldwide. Trade between the two countries was worth $11 billion in 2018, 15% more than in 2017.
"Relations between Britain and Israel are stronger than ever, with cooperation in trade and investment between the two countries at record levels," said Fox. "The agreement signed today will enable British and Israeli businesses, exporters and consumers, to continue trading between them freely and with complete security as Britain prepares to leave the European Union. We expect trade and investment relations between the two countries to continue strengthening amid continued joint work in the future."
"Britain is one of Israel's largest and most important trading partners" Cohen said. "The fact that Israel is among the first countries with which Britain has reached understandings on a continuity agreement on trade after Brexit indicates the importance both countries ascribe to economic ties between them. The agreement signed today ensures that trade between the sides will continue to take place under the same conditions as today, and that the growth in trade and investment recorded in recent years will continue after Britain leaves the European Union."
The agreement between Israel and the UK is based upon the existing infrastructure of agreements between Israel and the European Union. Its aim is to maintain continued certainty on both sides and to ensure that trade continues to take place on the same terms as it takes place today under Israel's agreement with the European Union.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on February 24, 2019
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