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Israel, UAE negotiate FTA

Jerusalem and the United Arab Emirates have begun talks launched talks to establish a free trade agreement (FTA), says Israel’s Economy Ministry.

By Erin Viner

Virtual talks on the deal were held yesterday between Israeli Economy Minister Orna Barbivai and her Emirati counterpart Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri.

According to a statement from the Economy Ministry, Barbivai said Israel’s FTA with the UAE “will significantly strengthen trade between the two countries, remove barriers and expand economic cooperation.”

Other senior Israeli negotiators are currently on the ground in Dubai, where they will hold talks until Thursday. Israel’s FTA Director and Delegation head Ohad Cohen expressed intent on reaching agreement with the UAE on issues relating to trade in goods and services, regulation, government procurement, e-commerce and the preservation of intellectual property rights.

Israel and the UAE normalized relations in the United States-brokered Abraham Accords last year. They have established cooperation in multiple sectors, including a space industry project slated to include the flying of both nations flags side-by-side on the moon in 2024. Bilateral trade in goods alone reached € 110,597,375 ($125 million) in 2020, surging to nearly € 442,389,500 ($500 million) so far this year.

Financial ties between the two Middle Eastern nations is expected to continue rapid growth.