Economic Impact

Israel and Bahrain set to reach free-trade pact

June 05, 2023

By Etgar Lefkovits

Israeli Tourism Minister Haim Katz and Economy Minister Nir Barkat are expected to visit the Gulf nation soon.

Israel and Bahrain will soon sign a free-trade agreement, and the island kingdom can serve as a gateway to widening ties with Arab countries in the Gulf, the Jewish state’s envoy to Manama said on Sunday.

Ambassador Eitan Na’eh spoke amid heightened diplomatic efforts to reach a normalization agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia by the end of the year as well as increasing ties between Israel and Gulf countries.

“There is a potential here to widen our connections not only with Bahrain but to the Arab Gulf states,” Na’eh told JNS. “Bahrain can be the point of connection between East and West.”

He said the two countries would soon sign a free-trade agreement and an investment protection accord.

The date and venue of the signing have not been finalized, although Israeli Economy Minister Nir Barkat is due to visit Bahrain in the coming months.

Israel and Bahrain normalized relations in 2020 as part of the Abraham Accords reached under the Trump administration, which also saw Jerusalem establish relations with the United Arab Emirates, Morocco and Sudan.

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