Israel’s trade with UAE and other Arab states jumped 234% in 2021

Data shows that trade volumes between the UAE and Israel increased from $ 51 million in the first seven months of 2020 to $ 614 million during the same period in 2021.

Trade between Israel and countries in the Middle East and North Africa accelerated significantly in 2021, following the normalization of Tel Aviv’s relations with several Arab states last year.

In the first seven months of 2021, trade grew 234% compared to the same period in 2020, according to figures cited by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics.

The largest volume was with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which grew from $ 50.8 million between January and July 2020 to $ 613.9 million during the same period in 2021.

Trade with Jordan also increased this year, from $ 136.2 million to $ 224.2 million. Meanwhile, data showed volumes with Egypt increased from $ 92 million to $ 122.4 million, and trade with Morocco increased from $ 14.9 million to $ 20.8 million. of dollars.

Bahrain, which did not trade with Israel in the first seven months of 2020, recorded a value of $ 300,000 this year.

Data cited did not include trade in tourism and services.

These figures come a year after Israel signed a set of normalization agreements with Arab and Muslim countries known as the “Abraham Accords” under the auspices of the then President’s administration. , Donald Trump.

The United Arab Emirates were the first Gulf country to sign the deal, before Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan followed suit. Egypt and Jordan were previously the only Arab countries to have established diplomatic relations with Israel in 1979 and 1994 respectively.

The agreements broke the long-held idea that Arab nations would not normalize with Israel until it struck a comprehensive peace deal with the Palestinians.

The agreements were condemned as betrayal and a “stab in the back” by the Palestinians.

Israel-UAE relations deepen

A major global hub for trade and re-export capital, the UAE’s major trading partners are China ($ 35.5 billion), India ($ 28.6 billion), the United States ($ 17.1 billion), Saudi Arabia ($ 11 billion), Germany ($ 9.72 billion) and the United Kingdom ($ 9.5 billion).

Gold, broadcast equipment, jewelry, refined petroleum, and diamonds represent the top five products imported into the Gulf State.

While Israel represents a significantly lower trade volume than its major partners, the Emiratis are on the verge of deepening their trade relations with the Jewish state.

On Monday, Economy Minister Abdulla Bin Touk said Abu Dhabi plans to expand its economic ties with Tel Aviv to the tune of $ 1,000 billion over the next decade.

Since normalization, the UAE has signed more than 60 memoranda of understanding with Israel and expects an “influx” of trade over the next two years, Bin Touq said, mainly in defense areas. energy and food security.

“We have between 500 and 700 million dollars of bilateral trade, we have funds of billions of dollars which have been jointly announced between the two countries,” he said. “We are entering many areas of economic opportunity. “

Of those deals, Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Co signed a $ 1 billion purchase of a 22% stake in Tamar’s eastern Mediterranean natural gas field from Delek Drilling earlier this month, marking the most big deal between the two countries to date.

“This transaction marks an important step in the alignment between Israel and the United Arab Emirates,” said Yossi Abu, CEO of Delek. “It shows how Israel’s natural gas resources can be a source of collaboration between nations. “

The two countries have asked high-level business delegations to explore investment opportunities in technology, aviation, education, telecommunications and tourism over the past year.

In March, the United Arab Emirates announced a $ 12 billion investment fund for strategic sectors in Israel, including energy manufacturing, water, space, healthcare and agricultural technology.

Prior to 2020, covert relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates had existed for decades, as Abu Dhabi kept a low profile on its unofficial ties with Tel Aviv through various economic, political and cultural exchanges.

Israel has a long history of assisting the UAE in security matters through the transfer of cyber and surveillance technology.

Earlier this year, the UAE and Israeli ministers pledged military and defense cooperation, with the Israeli defense chief considering a “special security arrangement” between the two states.

Source: TRT World

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