UAE, Israel start official talks to sign comprehensive economic partnership agreement

UAE, Israel start official talks to sign comprehensive economic partnership agreement

ABU DHABI, 16th November, 2021 (WAM) -- Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, said the UAE, upon the directives of its leadership, is continuing to develop its economic model, to make it more sustainable, flexible and open to global markets, under the framework of a clear forward vision, in line with the principles and objectives of the "Year of the 50th" .

"We are continuing the efforts aimed at implementing the Projects of the 50th launched by the UAE Government, which include comprehensive economic partnerships with eight global markets in alignment with the UAE Centennial 2071," he added.

Al Marri made this statement while announcing the start of official talks between the UAE and Israel to reach an agreement on a comprehensive economic partnership under the Abraham Accords Peace Agreement, to strengthen their economic and investment relations.

The announcement was made via video conferencing today by Al Marri and Orna Barbivai, Israeli Minister of Economy, in the presence of Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and Mohammed Al Khaja, UAE Ambassador to Israel.

Upon the successful conclusion of the talks, the comprehensive economic partnership between the two countries will reinforce their economic ties, promote trade, increase new investment opportunities for companies from both countries and the region and establish a new phase of joint cooperation.

Al Marri said over a year has passed since the signing of the Abraham Accords Peace Agreement between the two countries, which came from their mutual keenness to achieve peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

During this period, he added, new diplomatic ties have been established, which will help boost their economic partnership and promote trade, investment, tourism, scientific and technological cooperation on bilateral and regional fronts.

''Indeed, the agreement generated vast economic opportunities and brought many benefits at the regional level, which would push the process of economic and social development in the two countries forward and at the regional level.'' "The significant development in the bilateral ties between the two countries comprise a variety of vital sectors, and is aimed at strengthening their future economies and supporting their enablers, most notably advanced technology, artificial intelligence, tourism, logistics, transport, energy, research and development, among others," he stressed, noting the two countries are building on this by initiating this important step, by engaging in official talks aimed at reaching an agreement to forge a comprehensive economic partnership.

Barbivai said the launch of official talks will help promote future cooperation and discussions, to reach an agreement on forging a comprehensive economic partnership, noting her hope the agreement will serve the business communities of both countries and create a wide range of opportunities in several sectors of mutual concern.

"By concluding this agreement, we hope that we will further benefit from the great potential of the bilateral relations and the ties of friendship between Israel and the United Arab Emirates."

Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, said, "As the world is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become important more than ever to establish partnerships for the future that will help achieve sustainable economic recovery."

"We will continue to exert efforts to reach comprehensive economic partnerships with several global markets, including Israel, to boost the UAE’s stature as a global centre for trade and logistics," Al Zeyoudi added.

The comprehensive economic partnership agreement aims to build on the joint economic progress achieved by the two countries. Trade exchange amounted to over AED3.5 billion in one year since the signing of the peace accord in September 2020 until the end of September 2021, while the value of non-oil trade was over AED2.9 billion in the first nine months of 2021.

The UAE also launched similar talks with India and Indonesia.

The bilateral cooperation between the UAE and Israel has witnessed significant development following the signing of the Abraham Accords Peace Agreement in 2020, most notably in energy, the environment, space, advanced technology, education and research.

The two countries signed over 60 strategic cooperation agreements, in addition to starting talks to explore opportunities for cooperation in aviation, logistics, renewable energy, water desalination, artificial intelligence, and other areas. These agreements include a $1 billion deal created by Mubadala Emirati Company to acquire a 22 percent stake in offshore Tamar gas fields from Israel's Delek Drilling.