Israel signs first ever trade deal with UAE

After months of negotiations, Israel finally signed a free trade agreement with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Tuesday, its first with an Arab state and one which reduces tariffs by almost hundred percent. Israel aims to lift their annual bilateral trade to more than $10 billion.

Both the countries were eager to start trade, as it took only six months of diplomatic negotiations to sign the deal instead of the usual eighteen months.
It will provide ease for companies to make reciprocal trades between both the countries. Tariffs will be reduced or removed by 96% on goods including food, medicine, diamonds, jewelry, fertilisers and other chemicals. According to the UAE-Israel Business Council, it estimates a thousand companies would be trading through UAE within five years and hope to do business of $10 billion.

The Emirati envoy to Israel, Mohamed Al Khaja, hailed this trade deal as an “unprecedented achievement”, while
Emirati trade minister Thani Al Zeyoudi tweeted “a new chapter in the history of the Middle East” (has been written)
Israel’s ambassador to UAE, Amir Hayek, tweeted “mabruk” (congratulations in Arabic) posting a photo of the signing ceremony in Dubai.

The trade though has its own political dimensions, as it was signed amid violence in the Al-Aqsa compound, the UAE foreign ministry condemned the “storming” of Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem by “extremist settlers under the protection of Israeli forces”.

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