UAE, Israel To Sign Free-Trade Agreement Soon: Official

UAE Ambassador to Israel Mohamed Al Khaja on Wednesday said they will sign the free-trade agreement with Israel by the end of March. “The agreement will serve as an accelerator for significant economic prosperity,” Al Khaja said in a tweet post.

Al Khaja added that after India and Indonesia, the UAE and Israel are looking forward to concluding the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) before the end of the month.

“The UAE remains confident that the CEPA with Israel will serve as a catalyst for even greater economic prosperity,” Al Khaja added.

Israel Economic Minister Orna Barbivai and her UAE Counterpart Abdullah bin Touq Al Mari began talks in November for establishing the CEPA between the two countries. CEPA is part of wider economic connectivity including trade in goods.

Ohad Cohen, director of the Foreign Trade Administration had recently said that the agreement includes customs, trade in services, government procurement, e-commerce and the preservation of intellectual property rights.

According to data from Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics and Foreign Ministry, there has been a massive increase in trade between Israel and its Middle East neighbors. The development was made after US-brokered Abraham Accords, opening ways for Israel to normalize ties with Gulf states.

Trade between Israel and UAE has also increased dramatically in the past one year since the Abraham Accord, as trade between the two was worth about $125 million in 2020, that figure reached nearly $500m in 2021. 

Meanwhile, the economic experts estimated that trade between the two countries will exceed $1 billion this year and reach $3 billion within three years.

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