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September 13, 2021 6:52 pm

UAE Sees $1 Trillion in Trade With Israel Over Next Decade, Says Minister of Economy

avatar by Sharon Wrobel

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Donald Trump and United Arab Emirates (UAE) Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed display their copies of signed agreements as they participate in the signing ceremony of the Abraham Accords, normalizing relations between Israel and some of its Middle East neighbors, in a strategic realignment of Middle Eastern countries against Iran, on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, US, September 15, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Tom Brenner/

The United Arab Emirates expects economic activity with Israel to grow to more than $1 trillion over the next decade.

“We have $600 to $700 million dollars of bilateral trade happening, we have funds of billions of dollars that have been announced jointly between the two countries, we are moving into so many areas of economic opportunities,” said UAE Minister of Economy Abdulla Bin Touq. “We are looking to create over $1 trillion dollars of economic activity over the next decade.”

Talking at a public event marking the one-year anniversary of the normalization of ties between Israel and the UAE, Bin Touq said that the Gulf power has signed over 60 memorandums of understanding with the Jewish state. The UAE and Bahrain last year agreed to formalize their diplomatic ties with Israel under the so-called “Abraham Accords” brokered with the help of the Trump administration.

One of the investments cited by Bin Touq was the $1 billion stake in an Israeli gas field by Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Petroleum. The UAE also sees renewable energy opportunities in Israel as well as investments coming from a recently signed agreement on food and agritech technologies.

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According to figures from the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce (FICC), the trade volume between Israel and the UAE jumped to $523.2 million in the first six months of this year from about $189 million during the full-year of 2020. Since the normalization of ties between the two nations, about 200,000 Israelis have visited the UAE.

In the coming years, the UAE will focus on trade with Israel in the fields of health, food security, climate change, technology, defense and energy, according to Bin Touq.

“In the next couple of years we are going to see more influx of trade between the two countries. It’s important to say that the opportunities after COVID-19 are endless,” he remarked.

Bin Touq also acknowledged as one of the achievements since the accords were signed, that Israel and the UAE have opened embassies and appointed ambassadors in each other’s countries.

“There is no doubt that the UAE and Israel have a lot of opportunities economically but the peace that comes with the code is something which is very important,” he said.

Speaking at an event to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the signing of the Abraham Accords, US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said that the United States is committed to “strengthening and expanding” on these agreements.

“That means pushing for more headway among those who have already signed the agreements, such as those here at the table and Sudan, and also reaching additional agreements with more Arab and Muslim countries to extend the circle of peace,” Thomas-Greenfield added.

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