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Israel and UAE sign free trade agreement, the first with an Arab country

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Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which established relations in 2020, signed a free trade agreement on Tuesday in Dubai, described as historic for being the first of its kind between the Jewish State and an Arab country, and that will raise the bilateral exchange to some 10,000 million dollars in five years.

“The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between the UAE and Israel is expected to stimulate trade flows between the two countries, reaching 10 billion dollars annually in five years,” Emirati Economy Minister Abdullah bin Tuk al Marie said, according to a statement from your department.

He also stressed that the pact, which was signed in Dubai with his Israeli counterpart, Orna Barbibai, “will add about 1.9 billion dollars to the UAE’s gross domestic product over the same period.”

For his part, Barbibai stated that it is “an event of historical importance in economic relations between Israel and the UAE” as it is the “first Free Trade Agreement with an Arab state,” according to a statement from the Ministry of Economy and Industry.

The minister trusted that the agreement will serve to “strengthen trade between the two countries, eliminate barriers and promote new business opportunities and alliances”, in addition to granting “an immediate or gradual tax exemption on 96% of trade between countries”, which He also confirmed the Emirati statement.

The pact includes tax exemptions that will be concentrated in the areas of food, agriculture, cosmetics, medical equipment and medicines, and will also contemplate regulatory issues on electronic commerce and intellectual property rights.

The agreement signed today “will create a new model of constructive cooperation between the countries of the region, on the basis that the construction of flexible and sustainable growth economies requires cooperation, integration, association and openness in light of the challenges that the world is currently witnessing,” added the Emirati minister.

Both countries have announced in the last two years numerous memorandums of understanding and millionaire investment agreements, such as the 1,200 million dollars that the Emirati fund Mubadala has invested in Tamar, one of the main natural gas fields in Israeli waters.

According to Al Marie, commercial and investment relations of non-oil trade between his country and Israel registered about 2.5 billion dollars until March 2022, of which 1.06 billion in the first quarter of this year.

For his part, the Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Thani al Zeyoudi, said on his official Twitter account that the new agreement with Israel “is based on the solid foundations established by the Abraham Accords.”

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

These agreements represented a shift in the geostrategic board of the Middle East, since they were joined by Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan, thus adding the countries with which Israel established peace agreements to six, after Egypt (1979) and Jordan ( 1994).


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