Home Middle East Israel, UAE sign a Free Trade Deal

Israel, UAE sign a Free Trade Deal

According to a statement, Israel and the United Arab Emirates have concluded negotiations for a free trade agreement. 

The statement was released by Israel’s Ministry of Economy and Industry and the UAE foreign trade minister. 

According to the UAE’s economy minister Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, the volume of trade between the UAE and Israel have been between $600m and $700m in September. 

The free trade agreement between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv will see 95 percent of customs tariffs dropped.

As per the statement, 95 percent of traded products, would be customs-free – immediately or at a later stage – including items like food articles, agriculture, and cosmetic products. Medical equipment and medicine will also be included in the customs-free items list, a statement from the Israeli economy ministry.

The deal includes regulation, customs, services, government procurement, and electronic trade. The deal will come into effect when signed by economy ministers of both countries and ratified. No timeline for that was shared by any of the sides. 

Israel and the UAE have been negotiating a free trade agreement since November.

The two West Asian countries formally established ties in 2020 as part of the US-brokered Abraham Accords. The Accord also includes Bahrain and Morocco.

Last month, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and the UAE’s de facto leader, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan met in Egypt and concluded the final round of negotiations. 

“The good relations forged between our two countries are strengthened today by this free trade agreement, which will significantly improve economic cooperation for the benefit of the citizens of both countries,” the Israeli Prime Minister said.

The agreement will not only ease the movement of goods but will also allow the flow of investments and strengthen market access. This will also boost growth for small-and-medium enterprises.

Since signing Abraham Accord, Israel has been engaging with Arab countries at various levels. Last week Israel hosted a summit of senior diplomats from three Arab countries – the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, and the US.

Sudan has also inched towards normalizing ties with Israel; however, a formal deal is yet to be announced.