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Mena startups celebrate Abraham Accords at region’s largest investor summit

February 15, 2023

By Thomas Helm

Companies from across the Middle East were in Jerusalem on Wednesday to showcase the vast economic potential in the region two years after the signing of the Abraham Accords.

Opening the OurCrowd Global Investor Summit, Israeli President Isaac Herzog extended “a particular thank you to Abraham Accord countries”.

Just outside the room, the pavilions of Abu Dhabi and Morocco were centre stage as thousands of potential investors from more than 80 nations came to learn more about business in the Arab world.

The Abraham Accords, which were signed in 2020, normalised relations between Israel, the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco, with Sudan making a significant start to the process.

As well as being a historic geopolitical and strategic shift, the deal opened up new trade corridors between some of the region’s most successful economies.

Just one year after the move, the value of trade between the Emirates and Israel reached more than $1.1 billion.

Ahead of the conference, Jon Medved, one of Israel’s leading venture capitalists, described how the Accords provided the private sector “political air cover” for business and investment to further implement the spirit of the deal, “to promote inter-faith and inter-cultural dialogue to advance a culture of peace among the three Abrahamic religions and all humanity”.

Abdulla Abdul Aziz Al Shamsi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Investment Office, told a crowd of hundreds that “we have really started to see the fruits of this work”. It was his first time in Jerusalem.

Keen to stress that the Accords mean more than relations between its signatories, Sabah Al Binali, the first Emirati partner at an Israeli company, spoke to The National of his personal experience bridging these two worlds.

“It’s overwhelmingly positive … I think after the initial excitement, people are settling down and putting their business hats on,” he said.

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