An Israeli delegation of business leaders, consisting of representatives of the Israeli Chambers of Commerce, Manufacturers Association and the Israel Export Institute, is visiting Dubai this week to lay out the groundwork for trade and cooperation between Israel and the UAE.
The delegation aims to set the stage for Israeli and Emirati business ties and foster relations with UAE institutions in industry, trade, and investment. Another key objective is to advance free trade activities with the Arab Gulf states and East African and South Asian nations via the UAE’s unique free trade zones, the organizations said in a statement.
The Israeli delegation was invited by the president and chairman of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Hamad Buamim, who also serves as the chairman of the World Chambers Federation.
During their visit to Dubai, which will last till the end of the week, the Israeli delegates will visit the city’s main trade centers and its free trade areas; the Expo 2020 pavilion; the Port of Jebel Ali, one of the world’s largest ports; DP WORLD; and the Dubai World Trade Center.
The business organizations estimate that trade volume between the two nations could reach billions of dollars per year in the “near future,” they said in a statement. The majority of Israeli exports to the UAE are expected to focus on advanced technology in areas including cybersecurity, medical equipment, agricultural technology and desert agriculture, solar energy, water desalination and water quality, and pharmaceuticals.
There is also a significant demand for food, chemicals, plastic products, medical equipment and services, security services, and research and development for software-related services in the Gulf nations, Uriel Lynn, president of the Israeli Chambers of Commerce, who is part of the delegation, said in the statement. Israel plans to purchase petroleum products and tourism services from the UAE, he said, and there are also “ample opportunities for mutual investment.”
The normalization of ties between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain in September has caused a flurry of activity on both sides, with businesses, investors and startups working to forge ties between the nations.
Even before the historic peace agreement, there were informal ties between Israel and the UAE mediated by the EU and the US. Now that these ties are transparent and open, they are set to “blossom further,” the statement said.
Dubai has been attracting foreign investment for a number of years following its declaration as a free trade zone and the lack of income tax. These policies have turned the area into an international trade hub. Israeli businesses, manufacturers, and importers will now be able to take advantage of the country’s free trade, leveraging it for greater access and trade with India, as well as other African and Asian nations, the statement said.
The ties with the UAE will foster “an extensive export and import system, undoubtedly bringing Israel and the UAE closer commercially, economically, socially, and diplomatically,” said Ron Tomer, president of the Manufacturers Association of Israel.
Israel can give the UAE access to its industries and technologies, and the UAE can be a gateway to new markets in the Middle East and Africa, to offset the economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, he said.