In a move aimed at boosting trade between the two Middle Eastern nations, Israel has signed a free trade agreement with the United Arab Emirates, its first big trade accord with an Arab state.
After months of negotiations, the pact was signed in Dubai by Israel’s Minister of Economy and Industry Orna Barbivai and her counterpart, UAE Minister of Economy Abdulla bin Touq al-Marri.
Replying to another tweet he posted earlier saying “the UAE and Israel will sign FTA in the next hour,” Israel’s Ambassador to the UAE Amir Hayek said “Done,” on Twitter.
The trade agreement, according to the President of the UAE-Israel Business Council Dorian Barak, defined tax rates, imports and intellectual property, which would encourage more Israeli companies to set up offices in the UAE, particularly in Dubai.
The Council predicts there will be almost 1,000 Israeli companies working in or through the UAE by the end of the year, doing business with South Asia, the Far East and the Middle East.
Barak said, “The domestic market doesn’t represent the entirety of the opportunity. The opportunity is really setting up in Dubai, as many companies have, in order to target the broader region.”
In addition to food, agriculture, cosmetics, medical equipment and medicine, Israel’s economy ministry had said the accord would remove tariffs on 96% of goods.