Israel and UAE sign historic trade deal

On May 31st, 2022, Israel Minister of Economy and Industry Orna Barbivai and her counterpart, UAE Minister of Economy Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, signed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement set to lower or eliminate tariffs on more than 96% of the goods traded between the two countries.

This agreement marks a “news chapter in the history of Middle East and aims to accelerate growth, create jobs and lead to a new era of peace, stability and prosperity across the region,” said Thani Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade.

The future looks promising. The UAE-Israel CEPA expects to boost the value of non-oil bilateral trade to more than $10 billion within 5 years. The goal is to do so by enhancing market access for exporters, attracting investors, and creating opportunities in key industries, such as energy, environment, and digital trade, said the WAM (Emirates News Agency). Among the products which are to be exempt from customs either immediately or over the next 3-5 years are food, agriculture, cosmetics, medical equipment, drugs and more.

The UAE-Israel CEPA represents a step towards UAE’s effort to become a regional hub for trade, investment, and industries of the future, as indicated by Abdulla Bin Touq. To do so, UAE will rely in building meaningful relationships with key partners around the globe. In fact, the UAE-Israel CEPA is the second big trade agreement signed recently by the Arab country, with the first one being the UAE-India CEPA, signed in February and entered into force on May 1st.

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