IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Israel signs major free trade deal with Gulf state UAE

Israel and the UAE established ties in September 2020 in a U.S. brokered deal that broke with decades of Arab policy that had called for a Palestinian state before ties with Israel.
A building in Tel Aviv, Israel, is lit up in the colors of the United Arab Emirates flag on Aug. 13, 2020, following the agreement between the two countries to establish full diplomatic ties.
A building in Tel Aviv, Israel, is lit up in the colors of the United Arab Emirates flag on Aug. 13, 2020, following the agreement between the two countries to establish full diplomatic ties.Oren Ziv / dpa via AP
/ Source: Reuters

Israel signed a free trade agreement with the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday, its first big trade accord with an Arab state and a move aimed at boosting trade between the two Middle East nations.

The pact was signed by Israel’s Minister of Economy and Industry Orna Barbiva and her counterpart, UAE Minister of Economy Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, after months of negotiations.

“Done,” Israel’s Ambassador to the UAE Amir Hayek said on Twitter, replying to another tweet he posted earlier saying “the UAE and Israel will sign FTA in the next hour.”

For oil-rich UAE, the deal with Israel is its second bilateral free trade agreement after signing a similar accord with India in February. It is in bilateral trade talks with several other countries, including Indonesia and South Korea.

The UAE has been aggressively pursuing these deals in a bid to strengthen its economy following the hit it took from the coronavirus pandemic.

Israel and the UAE established ties in September 2020 in a U.S.-brokered deal that broke with decades of Arab policy that had called for a Palestinian state before ties with Israel.

Bahrain and Morocco also recognized Israel in the same year.