UAE-Israel trade on track to reach $2.5bn in 2022: UAE-Israel Business Council
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UAE-Israel trade to reach $2.5bn in 2022

UAE-Israel trade to reach $2.5bn in 2022

Dorian Barak, co-founder of the UAE-Israel Business Council, talks about the impact of the free trade agreement between the two nations and how the council aims to support companies in both countries

Neesha Salian
Dorian Barak UAE- israel council

Why is the free trade agreement between UAE and Israel a landmark one and how will it further strengthen relations between the two countries?
More than anything, the free trade agreement is a reflection of how significant trade between the countries has already become: it reached $1bn in the last quarter, and is on track to reach $2.5bn in 2022. By eliminating tariffs on nearly all goods, it’s an endorsement of the strategic importance of this relationship for both countries.

Trade between Israel and the UAE has also had knock-on effects in the region, helping to drive an increase in trade between Israel and neighbouring countries, some of which do not yet have diplomatic relations with Israel.

Read: The UAE reaches trade agreement with Israel

What are the key sectors that will benefit from it?
We, at the UAE-Israel Business Council, believe the greatest impact will be in the technology, diamonds, renewables and the life sciences sectors, but it’s also quite significant for the consumer goods segment.  Tourism and services, which are not the main focus of the agreement, are already booming and will continue to grow.  The level of activity we’re seeing has already exceeded our  expectations.

Do you see more Israeli companies setting up businesses here? How can the council support them?
Absolutely. Israelis have come to recognise that the UAE, and Dubai in particular, is the key gateway to the greater Middle East, South Asia and the Far East, a business hub that offers them unprecedented opportunities to target the fast-growth markets of the region. Israelis have discovered that the UAE is not just a market in its own right, it’s a platform for conducting business throughout the region. That’s what is driving many of the 500-plus Israeli companies that are already trading in and through the UAE, and more are coming.

This summer marks the second anniversary of the UAE-Israel Business Council and to date, we have 7,500 members and we’re most proud of the fact that it’s nearly a 50/50 split between Israeli and Emirati companies. We are here to support them in a variety of ways from helping them network to hosting events focused on specific sectors with leading figures from both countries speaking about the opportunity. We have also introduced companies to each other who have then gone on to partner together which has created more jobs in both countries.

How do you see trade growing (value forecast) in the next two years?
We predict $5bn in annual bilateral trade by 2027. This number will grow further if you include services and tourism.

What are some of the opportunities now open for UAE based companies in Israel?
Israel’s logistics, tourism and property development sectors have much to gain from the UAE’s excellence in these areas. Such projects take time, of course, but we expect an inflow of Emirati expertise and investment in these areas over the next 12 to 24 months.


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