Free trade agreement between Israel, UAE goes into effect
March 26, 2023
Historic peace accord 'continues to bear fruit for both countries,' Netanyahu says
The free trade agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) went into effect Sunday with the signature of the customs agreement in Jerusalem by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and Emirati Ambassador to Israel Mohamed Al Khaja.
The deal covers 96 percent of the trade between the two countries, which in 2021 reached $885 million and has grown since. It will extend to food, agriculture, cosmetics, medical equipment and other commodities.
"The historic peace accord we signed with the UAE continues to bear fruit for the benefit of the citizens of both countries," Netanyahu said. "I am positive that we will continue to expand Israel's circle of peace with other regional neighbors."
The 2020 normalization deal reached between the two countries was one of a series of US-brokered agreements known as the Abraham Accords. The UAE deal was the first, with Bahrain joining shortly after, followed by Sudan and Morocco.
Following the normalization agreement, the nations have also embarked on a series of cooperative ventures, including a joint research and development fundto promote tech projects by Israeli and Emirati firms.
Tourism has also boomed, with an estimated 150,000 Israelis visiting the UAE in 2022.