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October 27, 2022 3:26 pm
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Israel Aerospace Industries to Exhibit at Bahrain International Airshow; Israeli Bank Exec Speaks in Riyadh

avatar by Andrew Bernard

The flags of Israel and Bahrain flutter along a road, in Netanya, Israel, Sept. 14, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Nir Elias.

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), one of Israel’s three largest defense contractors, will show off its civilian and defense aviation hardware at the Bahrain International Airshow in November, making it the first Israeli company to do so.

“The Abraham Accords have opened the door for us to participate for the first time in this exhibition and to work collaboratively with our neighbors to deal with the common threats we face in the region,” said IAI Chairman Amir Peretz. “IAI’s capabilities, alongside the impressive relationships that we developed over the last two years with our colleagues in the Gulf States, will allow us to continue to expand the company’s contribution to both technology and defense in the region, whereby our proven capabilities can help ensure a higher degree of regional stability.”

Following the Abraham Accords, Israeli defense companies have been able to more publicly advertise their civil aviation and defense wares in the Gulf. In 2021, Israeli companies participated for the first time at the UAE’s IDEX conference, which is the largest defense exhibition in the Middle East.

Seven percent of Israel’s defense exports are now sold to the Gulf, helping fuel a record $11.3 billion in arms sales in 2021.

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In another sign of the warming business ties between Israel and the Gulf Arab states, the chairman of Bank Leumi, Israel’s largest bank, spoke at Saudi Arabia’s Future Investment Initiative conference on Thursday.

“The potential here is huge,” said Samer Haj-Yehia, who is Arab-Israeli. “We can see that there is a lot of investment going on and we want to tap into that kind of investment, whether it is on the payment side, whether it is in the it is in the crypto currency side, anything we can leverage from the micro-services and the cloud, we would love to do that.”

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