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Israel and UAE ink bumper trade deal

Abraham Accords signing Creative Commons: Trump White House Archive/Tia Dufour
Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, Donald Trump, Bahrain's foreign minister Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani and the UAE minister of foreign affairs Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the White House for the signing of the Abraham Accords on September 15, 2020

Israel and the United Arab Emirates will sign a free trade agreement in Dubai on Tuesday in a move aimed at boosting trade between the two countries, Israel’s Economy Ministry said on Monday.

The ministry said customs duties will be eliminated on 96 percent of products, including food, agriculture, cosmetics, medical equipment and medicine, and includes regulation, customs, services and government procurement.

The UAE and Israel formally established relations in 2020 as part of the US-brokered Abraham Accords that also included Bahrain and Morocco. The trade deal is Israel’s first with an Arab country.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week, Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, the UAE minister of state for foreign trade, said deals between UAE and Israel had reached $2.5 billion since the two countries, along with Bahrain and the US, signed the Abraham Accords peace agreement in September 2020.

Al Zeyoudi added that more than 65 deals and preliminary agreements had been signed between Israel and the UAE and their Business Council had reported that more than 1,000 Israeli companies will be operating in the UAE by the end of this year. 

He predicted that annual trade is likely to reach $5 billion in the “upcoming few years”.

OurCrowd, which also has offices in Sydney, Toronto, San Diego and New York, in November became the first Israeli venture capital company to be granted a licence by the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the city’s main international financial hub. 

Four months later it announced plans to open an artificial intelligence-based research and development centre in the UAE capital by early June, employing about 50 engineers.