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Israel Signs Free Trade Deal with UAE

Israel signed a free trade agreement with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), its first such deal with an Arab state.

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Israel Minister of Economy and Industry Orna Barbivay and the UAE Minister of Economy Abdalla Bin Touq Al Marri signed the agreement in Dubai.

The agreement, which is comprehensive, significant, and ground-breaking, is expected to increase bilateral trade in goods and services, increase Israeli exports to the United Arab Emirates and provide customs exemption immediately or gradually on 96 per cent of trade between the countries: food, agriculture, cosmetics, medical equipment, medication and more, according to an official statement released by the Ministry of Economy and Industry, Israel.

The agreement also relates to regulatory and standardisation issues, customs, collaboration, government procurement, e-commerce and intellectual property rights.

“This is a visit of strategic importance for economic relations between the State of Israel and the United Arab Emirates, the first free trade zone agreement with an Arab state,” said Israel Minister of Economy and Industry Orna Barbivay.

“The free trade zone agreement which we signed this morning is expected to strengthen bilateral trade, to break down obstacles and to advance new economic opportunities and partnerships, that will serve as a basis for our shared path,” Israeli minister said.

Reacting on the deal, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber said, “In accordance with our leadership guidelines, the UAE continues to take bold steps forward to advance our economy and improve our status as a regional centre for trade, investments and industries.”

“The trade agreement with Israel will create a new paradigm for the region. This agreement will accelerate economic growth and strengthen the common belief that the only way to build durable and sustainable economies in the complex world is together,” Al Jaber said.

“This agreement represents something larger than business: the importance of building significant partnerships. Our agreement can prove to countries and governments around the world that cooperation and dialogue are the best way to transform challenges to opportunities,” he added.

Israel’s relationship with the UAE has great economic potential in a variety of fields. This is due, in part, to the geographic and cultural proximity between the peoples, as well as the UAE’s unique characteristics. The UAE is the second largest economy in the Arab world (after Saudi Arabia), with market imports worth hundreds of billions of dollars and significant weight placed on technology products and advanced solutions, where Israel holds a relative advantage, the statement released by the Ministry of Economy and Industry, Israel, noted.

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