Marking the end of the first year since the Abraham Accords, reached on August 13, 2020, were signed, Israel’s Pavilion at EXPO 2020 and Israel’s Chamber of Commerce (FICC) announce the latest bi-lateral trade figures.
According to Dubai custom’s figures, the first five months since the signing of the Abraham accords saw bilateral trade amounting to $250 million. As of Thursday 29th August, 2021, overall trade value has reached roughly $675 million.
The Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce has today reported that in recent months, the total volume of trade between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (exports and imports of goods and services) has reached more than $ 100 million per month. If current trends continue, it is expected to bring trade by the end of 2021 to around $ 1.5 billion. This annual order is similar to that of Israel’s trade dealings with countries such as Russia or Brazil.
Post EXPO Dubai, this process is projected to accelerate, with business opportunities expected as a direct fallout of; international trade exposure, maturation of moves to promote trade that is still in the pipeline such as; a free trade agreement, cooperation between various business entities, entry into the position of commercial attachés, and more. Based on the UAE’s trade volume with other non-Arab countries in the region, it is likely to see an order of $5bn plus within two to three years. This trade volume puts the United Arab Emirates in the top ten of Israel’s trade partners, alongside India and France.
To date, ten agreements and memorandum of understandings have been signed and ratified or are in the process of ratification as follows:
- Agreement on investments
- Aviation Agreement
- MOU on financial services
- Agreement between the Ministries of Finance
- Agreement on visas exemption (valid as of 01/07/2021)
- MOU on science and technology
- MOU between Investment authorities
- MOU for the prevention of money laundering
- MOU on health
- Double taxation agreement
Ze’ev Lavie, VP, International Relations and Business Development in the International Relations Division at the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce said: “Our main goal is to facilitate business and to create matchmaking opportunities for our members. Our members are very diverse and include industry, import, export, low-tech, high-tech, retail, wholesalers and service providers in almost all market segments. The FICC is eager to see what additional trade opportunities for both the UAE and Israel, bi-lateral and multi-lateral, will be created or enabled by the EXPO Dubai 2020.
“As part of the Abraham accords, we have strong ties with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and have published a joint economic study and signed a strategic partnership agreement. FICC has also signed an MOU with the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and multiple MOU’s with DAFZA and JAFZA as well as with Dubai FDI and Dubai Export. In addition, we work with Bahrain Export and have signed an MOU with Bahrain’s Chamber of Commerce and Bahrain Export.”
The most recent, significant, private sector agreement happened in March 2021; UAE’s Mubadala buys $1.1bn stake in Israeli gas field. Other major private sector trade contributors include January 2021’s Abu Dhabi-based Masdar and Israel’s EDF Renewables signing of a strategic cooperation agreement, which sees the renewable energy arm of the UAE investment fund Mubadala invest hundreds of millions of dollars in developing renewable energy projects in Israel. Plus, October 2020 saw a binding MOU signed between the Israeli state-owned Europe-Asia Pipeline Company (EAPC) and UAE-based MED-RED Land Bridge (MRLB) to store and transport oil through the EAPC pipeline network.
Israel’s Pavilion at EXPO2020 Dubai and the FICC will be making frequent trade announcements as it anticipates frequent and significant increases in numbers and statistics.