Israel and the United Arab Emirates on Friday concluded negotiations for a free trade agreement. Once signed by the countries’ economy ministers, the agreement will enable the two countries to conduct free trade on 95% of the traded products. It included regulation, customs, services, government procurement and electronic trade.
Talks on bilateral free trade between the two nations started in December last year when Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met Prince Mohammed bin Zayed of the United Arab Emirates on the first official visit by an Israeli leader to the Gulf state. The agreement also comes after the two leaders met with President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi of Egypt in Sharm El-Sheikh to discuss the repercussions of global developments in late March.
“This is an important moment in relations between the State of Israel and the UAE. Today the good relations that have already been forged between the two countries are being strengthened in the form of a free trade agreement that will significantly upgrade economic cooperation for the benefit of the citizens of both countries,” said PM Bennett adding that “there will be more trade, more jobs and good products at lower prices.”
Israeli economy minister Orna Barbivay applauded the agreement terming it a “significant and historic milestone in bilateral relations.”