(March 27, 2023 / JNS) On Sunday, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and United Arab Emirates ambassador to Israel Mohammad Haja signed a customs agreement, paving the way for the entry into force of the free trade agreement between the two countries.
“The entry into force of the free trade agreement is important news for the Israeli economy, strengthening relations with the UAE, and further evidence of the importance of the Abraham Accords,” Cohen said of the agreement brokered by the Trump administration. Normalize relations between Jerusalem and four Arab countries.
May 2022 Free trade agreement The negotiations, the fastest in Israeli history, were signed in Dubai about 18 months after the two countries established diplomatic relations. The agreement eliminated tariffs on 96% of traded goods, from food to jewelry to medical equipment. Other benefits include the protection of intellectual property rights, and a new element of the free trade agreement that promises to find ways for small and medium-sized enterprises to profit from “the business opportunities granted by the agreement”.
Last year, bilateral trade exceeded $2.5 billion (excluding software and services), making the UAE Israel’s 16thday largest trading partner.
“This historic agreement with the UAE continues to deliver results for the benefit of both peoples,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who attended Sunday’s signing ceremony.
“I am sure we will be able to expand the scope of peace between Israel and other countries in our region,” he added.
Netanyahu said last month he was actively courting Saudi Arabia Join the Abraham Accords as it will constitute a “giant leap” towards regional peace.
Israel is currently working extended agreement To four other countries—Mauritania, Somalia, Niger and Indonesia.