Israel and the United Arab Emirates have concluded five months of negotiations by signing a free trade agreement, following up on the Abraham Accords that formally established relations between the two nations.
Israel’s Minister of Economy and Industry Orna Barbivai and the UAE’s Foreign Trade Minister, Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, met in Jerusalem for a fourth and final round of talks on Tuesday, finally signing the agreement on Friday.
“Since the establishment of the Abraham Accords, the Economy and Industry Ministry has been working to expand economic relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and to realize its economic potential,” said Barbivai.
“The finalization of the negotiations is a significant and historic milestone in the relationship between the countries and we will continue to assist the Israeli business community in establishing trade relations in the United Arab Emirates,” she added.
The UAE foreign trade minister tweeted on Friday that “This milestone deal will build on the historic Abraham Accords and cement one of the world’s most important and promising emerging trading relationships.”
The agreement, which took over five months to negotiate, will reportedly see some 95% of products traded between Israel and the UAE – such as food, agriculture, cosmetic products, medical equipment and medicine – become customs free, immediately or gradually, said the Israeli economy minister.