‘UAE trade deals with India, Israel hold potential for trilateral cooperation' | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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‘UAE trade deals with India, Israel hold potential for extensive trilateral cooperation’: Naor Gilon

By, New Delhi
May 31, 2022 09:56 PM IST

Israeli envoy Naor Gilon said the Abraham Accords have been “a significant turning point in creating numerous opportunities and promoting peace and prosperity for all”.

The free trade agreement signed by Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Tuesday and an earlier trade pact inked by India and the UAE have the potential for “extensive trilateral cooperation”, Israeli ambassador Naor Gilon said.

Israel, India, the UAE and the US are also part of a new grouping that has been described as the “West Asian Quad”. (ANI)
Israel, India, the UAE and the US are also part of a new grouping that has been described as the “West Asian Quad”. (ANI)

Israel’s landmark free trade deal with the UAE was the first such agreement with an Arab country and followed the establishment of diplomatic ties in 2020 after the signing of the Abraham Accords. The pact was signed in Dubai by Israel’s economy and industry minister Orna Barbivay and her UAE counterpart Abdulla bin Touq al-Marri.

“We are happy about the historic FTA agreement signed between Israel and the UAE. This agreement, jointly with the comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) signed between India and the UAE, has the potential for extensive trilateral cooperation and business partnerships,” Gilon said.

“It has also further created opportunities for collaborations in different fields with the US,” he added.

These milestones were made possible by the Abraham Accords, which have been “a significant turning point in creating numerous opportunities and promoting peace and prosperity for all”, Gilon said.

India and the UAE signed the CEPA on February 18 after one of the shortest negotiation processes in recent memory.

Israel, India, the UAE and the US are also part of a new grouping that has been described as the “West Asian Quad”. The grouping was established as a forum for economic cooperation at a virtual meeting of foreign ministers of the four nations last October. The four countries have said there is no military angle to their cooperation and they are pursuing a constructive agenda focused on the economy, especially infrastructure projects.

The Israel-UAE agreement is expected to increase bilateral trade in goods and services, increase Israeli exports to the Emirates and provide customs exemption, immediately or gradually, on 96% of trade between the two countries. This will include food items, agricultural products, medical equipment and medicines.

The agreement also covers regulatory and standardisation issues, customs, collaboration, government procurement, e-commerce and intellectual property rights.

Barbivay said this is the “first free trade zone agreement with an Arab state”. She added the pact will “break down obstacles and advance new economic opportunities and partnerships that will serve as a basis for our shared path”.

UAE’s industry and advanced technology minister Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber said the trade agreement with Israel will create a new paradigm for the region, and “represents something larger than business – the importance of building significant partnerships”.

The Abraham Accords, signed in September 2020, established diplomatic relations between Israel and the UAE. Negotiations on the FTA began in November 2021 and were completed on April 1 this year. Since the signing of the Abraham Accords, Israel-UAE trade in goods touched $885 million in 2021.

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