Business & Economy

Israel pens free trade deal with UAE, first with Arab nation

Dubai, May 31 (EFE).- Israel and the United Arab Emirates penned a free trade deal on Tuesday in Dubai, which was described as historic and the first of its kind between the Jewish nation and an Arab state after establishing ties in 2020.

The trade deal will boost trade by around $10 billion in five years, Emirati economy minister Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri said in a statement.

The minister added that the deal, which was signed in Dubai with his Israeli counterpart Orna Barbibai, will add about $1.9 billion to the UAE’s gross domestic product over the same period.

“I signed this morning in Dubai on the first Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with an Arab country,” Barbibai said. “This Agreement will open unlimited opportunities for both economies.”

The Israeli minister said the historic deal would strengthen trade between both countries, remove barriers and promote new business opportunities and alliances as well as grant an immediate or gradual tax exemption on 96% of commerce between the partners.

The agreement includes tax exemptions for food, agriculture, cosmetics, medical equipment and medical products and will also address regulatory issues on electronic commerce and intellectual property rights.

Since 2020, when Israel and the UAE first established ties, several memorandums of understanding and investment agreements have been secured, such as the $1.2 billion stake that the Emirate’s Mubadala sovereign wealth fund has in Tamar, a natural gas field in the Mediterranean sea off the Israeli coast.

According to Al Marri, non-oil trade and investments between the partners reached nearly $2.5 billion by March 2022, with a turnover of $1.06 billion in the first quarter of the year.

The Emirati minister of state for foreign trade, Thani al Zeyoudi, said on his official Twitter account that the new agreement with Israel “builds on the strong foundations laid by the Abraham Accords.”

Israel and the UAE established diplomatic relations under the Abraham agreements, signed in September 2020 and mediated by the United States.

The accords marked a geopolitical shift in the Middle East.

The agreement went on to normalize relations between Israel, the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco.EFE


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