Minister of Foreign Affairs Eli Cohen and United Arab Emirates Ambassador to Israel Mohamed Al Khaja, in the presence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, signed a customs agreement between Israel and the UAE.
The signing will make it possible for the free trade agreement between the two countries, which was signed in May 2022, to take effect.
“This historic agreement that has been signed with the UAE continues to bear fruit for the benefit of the people of both countries. The customs agreement that was signed today will lead to the implementation of the free trade agreement between Israel and the UAE, which will reduce customs duties, lower the cost-of-living and inject energy into business between Israel and the UAE. I am certain that we will be able to expand the circle of peace between Israel and additional countries in our region,” Netanyahu wrote, according to news release from the prime minister’s office.
“The taking effect of the free trade agreement is important news for the Israeli economy, for the strengthening of ties with the UAE and is further testament to the importance of the Abraham Accords. We are currently striving to expand the Abraham Accords to additional countries,” Cohen added.
Upon the taking effect of the free trade agreement, customs duties will be lowered or canceled on approximately 96% of goods and will allow Israeli companies to gain access to UAE government tenders.
The free trade agreement between Israel and the UAE will be a main growth engine for strengthening economic and commercial cooperation between the two countries and will further strengthen bilateral ties.
In 2022, bilateral trade reached over $2.5 billion (not including software and services); the UAE has thus become Israel’s 16th largest trading partner.
Upon the taking effect of the free trade agreement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs anticipates that the scope of bilateral trade will increase considerably, which will lead to additional jobs in the Israeli market and will also lower the cost of living in Israel.