Jerusalem: A free trade agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has come into effect, the first such economic deal the Jewish state reached with an Arab country.
Officials from both countries signed a customs agreement on Sunday, enabling the free trade agreement signed in May 2022 to come into effect, an official statement said.
The customs agreement was signed by Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and UAE Ambassador to Israel Mohamed Al Khaja in the presence of Netanyahu, reports Xinhua news agency.
According to the statement, the free trade deal is expected to reduce customs duties and lower the cost of living while increasing business between the two countries.
Additionally, Israeli companies will gain access to UAE government tenders, it added.
“The taking effect of the free trade agreement is important news for the Israeli economy, for the strengthening of ties with the UAE and is further testament to the importance of the Abraham Accords,” Cohen said.
The Abraham Accords are a series of US-brokered deals Israel reached with the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco in 2020 to establish diplomatic relations.
According to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, the UAE is Israel’s 16th largest trading partner, with bilateral trade volume reaching over $2.5 billion in 2022.
Israel is currently in talks with Bahrain to sign a free trade agreement.
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