Israel agrees to landmark free trade deal with UAE News
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Israel agrees to landmark free trade deal with UAE

Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed a free trade agreement in Dubai Tuesday, Israel’s first with an Arab nation.

The UAE-Israel Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) was signed by Israeli and Emirati officials, strengthening links between the two countries which established formal relations in September of 2020. According to a report from Emirati state news agency WAM, the agreement will lower or eliminate tariffs on more than 99% of goods traded between the countries, allowing for enhanced market access for exporters. The agreement is estimated to increase bilateral trade between the countries by up to USD$10 billion within five years.

Emirati minister of economy, Abdulla bin Touq, said the agreement will “…take bold steps to advance our economy and enhance our status as a regional hub for trade, investment, and the industries of the future.” Emirati minster of state for foreign trade, Thani Al Zeyoudi commented in a series of tweets about how the agreement “write[s] a new chapter in the history of the Middle East” while also praising the agreement for “creat[ing] jobs and lead[ing] to a new era of peace, stability, and prosperity across the region.”

Meanwhile, Israeli minster of economy and industry Orna Barbivai stated at the signing of the agreement:

Together, we will break down obstacles and we will advance comprehensive trade and new technologies that will serve as a basis for our shared path, contribute to the benefit of our citizens and make it easier to do business. This is the first full free trade agreement made with an Arab state, that is happening such a short time after the establishment of diplomatic relations.

The report also stated that the UAE-Israel CEPA is the first step in a series of new initiatives that the UAE is launching with the goal of expanding its international trading profile.