Gulf News | 1 March 2022
UAE and Israel are closing in a possible free trade deal by summer
by Nivetha Dayanand
Dubai: Within the next 10 years, Israel could emerge as a Top 10 trading partner for the UAE, according to a top Dubai Chamber official.
If all goes to plan, that target could even be met in five years or more,” said Hamad Buamim, President and CEO of Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry. “The (UAE and Israel) governments are in advanced negotiation about the free trade agreement, which we hope will be accomplished before summer.”
Currently, China, the US and India are the top three trading partners for the UAE. This month, the UAE and India signed off on the CEPA (Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement) and with the stated aim of bilateral trade touching $100 billion.
Boost in trade
Following the Abraham Accords of 2019, the value of intra-UAE trade with Israel amounted to more than Dh3.5 billion until the end of September 2021. The value of non-oil trade between the two exceeded Dh2.9 billion during the same period.
“In 12 months from now, we will see a big increase,” said Ittai Ben-Zeev, CEO of Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. “There are certain transactions that are in the pipeline. So we are very optimistic about the opportunities.”
The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE), UAE Embassy in Tel Aviv and the Dubai International Chamber hosted Israeli businesses and Emirati investors at the ‘Dubai Israel: Future Horizons’ conference to explore partnerships. The conference aims to advance economic ties between the two countries and encourage global investment in Israel’s capital markets, through TASE.
“You need to have business outside of Israel because the country is too small,” said Ben-Zeev. “TASE’s mission is to expose leading Israeli public companies to a broad range of investors, and now is the time to also reach out to investors from the eastern hemisphere.
“We strongly believe that this cooperation will encourage Israeli companies to do business with emirates and form collaboration in other markets. UAE is only the first step in a long journey.”