Orna Barbivai, Israel's Economy Minister, and Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Trade, stated that they had recently finalized deliberations to establish a full free trade zone between the two nations. The pact, the result of practical discussions that began last November after the historic Abraham Accords were signed, aims to assist the two countries in expanding commercial and financial ties.
The Business Standing Now
As per official figures from the UAE-Israel Business Council, bilateral trade between Israel and the UAE is pegged to reach $2 billion by the end of 2022, up 50% from 2021. Presently, there are about 500 Israeli companies trading with the UAE. This all started when in September 2020, the leaders of the UAE and Israel signed the historic accords at the White House, normalizing relations between the two countries. Tourism between the two countries is expected to grow by up to 25%, which is again a significant increase from the 200,000 visits since the Abraham Accords were signed with an aim of normalizing relations and boosting cooperation.
The Areas of Cooperation
The cooperation greatly benefited the business community since the UAE and Israel, two of the region's most dynamic economies, have a wide range of highly complementary strengths that present unprecedented opportunities to the business communities in each country. The two work with businesses in a variety of industries, including agriculture, finance, and technology, as well as medical and biotechnology.
The recent agreement got the top governance attention as the issue was discussed by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed at their meeting in Egypt. During this meeting, the leaders agreed to complete the agreement and the related formalities within days. As per the agreement, 95% of the goods traded between Israel and India will be exempt from customs duty and fees. This includes food products, agriculture, cosmetic supplies, medical equipment, and drugs.
Regarding the agreements, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was quoted saying, “this is an important moment in relations between the State of Israel and the UAE. Today the good relations that have already been forged between the two countries are being strengthened in the form of a free trade agreement that will significantly upgrade economic cooperation for the benefit of the citizens of both countries. There will be more trade, more jobs, and good products at lower prices.”
Overall, the agreements since Abraham Accords are being deemed exemplary for businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and fast-growing companies.
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