Two years after the normalization of relations between the UAE and Bahrain with Israel in what was called the Abrahamic Agreement, economic relations between the two Gulf countries and Tel Aviv witnessed a remarkable growth after the signing of many bilateral trade agreements in many sectors.
Immediately after the announcement of the normalization of relations in September 2020, and after a few days that did not exceed two weeks, the Emirati-Israeli economic relations witnessed rapid developments, as a number of Emirati and Israeli companies signed agreements that focused on cooperation in the field of financial services and removing financial barriers to investment between the two countries as well as encouraging Joint investments in the financial markets, as well as cooperation in banking services, in addition to signing agreements on tourism, technology, energy, health care and security.
After about 6 months of normalization, the UAE announced the establishment of a $10 billion fund aimed at investing in strategic sectors in Israel, including energy, manufacturing, water, space, health care and agricultural technology.
The fund will focus on development initiatives and strengthening economic cooperation between the two sides. The fund will be funded from government allocations and private sector institutions.
The UAE says that the establishment of the fund aims to strengthen economic relations between two of the thriving economies in the region, open the way for investments and create partnership opportunities to advance social and economic growth between them and in the region.
Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv also formed a joint economic committee headed by the ministries of economy with the aim of removing barriers and stimulating bilateral trade, as talks were launched to reach a comprehensive economic partnership agreement to deepen economic and investment relations between them under the umbrella of the normalization agreement.
A jump in exports
There is also an oil agreement between the two countries aimed at transporting the oil to the port of Eilat on the Red Sea, then via a pipeline to Israel and then to the port of Ashkelon on the Mediterranean, to be shipped after that to Europe.
United Nations data indicates that from 2020 to 2021, UAE exports to Israel increased from $115 million to 632 million, while annual Israeli exports to the UAE jumped from $74 million to 384 million.
The value of intra-trade between the UAE and Israel amounted to more than 3.5 billion dirhams (about 953 million dollars) until the end of September 2021, and the value of non-oil foreign trade between the two sides exceeded 2.9 billion dirhams (about 790 million dollars) during the first nine months of 2021. .
More than 60 strategic cooperation agreements were signed between the UAE and Israel, as well as talks to explore broader horizons of cooperation in the fields of aviation, logistics, renewable energy, food security, water desalination, artificial intelligence, and other fields and applications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The signing ceremony of a comprehensive economic partnership agreement between the UAE and Israel (Emirati press)
Signing a free trade agreement
Last May, the head of the Emirati-Israeli Business Council, Dorian Barak, said, "Trade between the UAE and Israel will reach $2 billion in 2022, and will rise to about $5 billion in 5 years, supported by cooperation in the sectors of renewable energy, consumer goods, tourism, and life sciences." .
He added that nearly a thousand Israeli companies will operate in and through the UAE by the end of the year.
Within the framework of the continued development of economic cooperation, Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv signed, at the end of last May, a free trade agreement, which is the first agreement of this scope to be signed between Israel and an Arab country, and the most important fruits of the normalization of relations at the economic level between them.
Under the agreement, 96% of customs duties on all goods will be exempted immediately or gradually, and the volume of trade between the two countries is expected to increase to more than $10 billion within 5 years.
As a result, the UAE expects bilateral trade to grow to more than $10 billion annually within 5 years, although even before the signing, trade in both directions was growing by leaps and bounds, as it did not exceed $190 million in 2020, then last year it reached 1.2. Billion dollar.
Bilateral trade between Israel and the UAE during the first four months of 2022 reached $616 million - indicating that the figure for the whole of 2022 could reach nearly $2 billion.
This is only for products.
Trade in the services sector, which covers everything from tourism to computer software, is also growing rapidly.
Also, one of the areas in which investment and joint ventures are much larger than commodity trading is advanced technology.
According to the data, the period between January and July 2021 witnessed an Israeli trade exchange with the UAE amounting to 613.9 million dollars, compared to 50.8 million in the same period in 2020.
agreements in different sectors
And the UAE Minister of Economy, Abdullah bin Touq Al-Marri, said in statements published by Emirati media in September 2021, “The agreement generated wide and varied economic opportunities for the UAE and Israel, and in one year a good non-oil trade exchange amounting to about 700 million US dollars was achieved, as well as The signing of about 60 major agreements between the concerned authorities in the two countries, at the level of the government and private sectors, and academic, cultural and research institutions.
In an attempt to enhance and expand the circle of trade exchange between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi, the Israeli Export Institute held, last August, an online seminar for Israeli exporters interested in working with the Emirates, attended by about 200 representatives of companies, where they obtained information about commercial activities between The two countries, from the Israeli ambassador to Abu Dhabi Amir Hayek, and the heads of the Export Institute, as well as from representatives of Israeli companies operating in the UAE.
"The Wall Street Journal" on executives in the Israeli defense industries: Working with the UAE is an extension of the secret work that began before the signing of the "Abraham Accords" pic.twitter.com/GuQmDRcA87
- Al-Jazeera Channel (@AJArabic) October 9, 2022
As for the economic relations between Bahrain and Israel, the Bahraini Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism Zayed bin Rashid Al-Zayani stresses the importance of strengthening relations between his country and Israel in various fields, especially in the field of research, development and technological innovation in a way that serves bilateral interests.
Transfer of Israeli technology to Manama
Al-Zayani indicated in statements published by Bahraini media at the end of last August that Bahrain and Israel possess many elements that help them build a successful economic partnership, pointing out that his country seeks to establish economic relations with major companies in Israel, and exchange experiences on the commercial and investment sector, which It would reflect positively on the economies of the two countries, thus contributing to the realization of common bilateral interests.
In an effort to strengthen economic relations between Manama and Tel Aviv, the Bahraini government signed several trade agreements related to technology and the transfer of modern Israeli technology for seawater desalination to Bahrain, as well as chemicals and minerals.
Last February, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on bilateral cooperation in research and development, as the memorandum aims to intensify bilateral cooperation in the field of research and development, by establishing partnerships that enhance cooperation in this field, in addition to coordination and focus on appropriate resources and programs to enhance industrial-commercial cooperation. between the two states.
The MoU also includes a number of areas such as carbon capture, energy efficiency, advanced manufacturing, and e-commerce.
During the past month, the two countries signed an agreement to enhance and expand cooperation between them in the fields of agriculture, livestock and food security, in addition to exchanging knowledge, technology and diversified products to expand agricultural products and improve the quality of their production.
Bahrain and Israel signed memorandums of understanding in many sectors (Bahraini press)
In early November, it was announced that a memorandum of understanding was signed between Export Bahrain and the Israeli Institute for Export and International Cooperation, in the presence of the Bahraini Minister of Industry and Trade. Bahrain's ambassador to Israel, Khalid bin Yousef Al-Jalahma.
Dynamic environment for the public and private sectors
The MoU aims to encourage and develop commercial exchange and cooperation between the two countries. Under this agreement, Export Bahrain and the Israeli Institute for Export and International Cooperation will form a gateway between companies in Bahrain and Israel, and will allow the public and private sectors to fully participate in order to achieve the common goal of encouraging exports and strengthening mutual trade relations. .
According to official data, since the signing of the normalization agreement about two years ago, trade between Bahrain and Israel has grown steadily and reached about $7.5 million in 2021, as the volume of Bahraini exports to Israel amounted to about $3.5 million, and mainly contains basic minerals and fuel, while The volume of Israeli exports to Bahrain amounted to about $4 million, mostly in the fields of pearls, diamonds and precious metals, as well as chemicals, chemical industry products, machinery and electrical engineering.
The two countries are negotiating to sign a free trade agreement between them, as it is expected to contribute to removing barriers in a way that allows expanding trade between the two countries to greater rates, as Bahrain and Israel agreed, at the end of last month, to sign a free trade agreement between the two countries before the end of this year.
What did the peace agreements between the Arabs and Israel achieve from Camp David with #Egypt 1979-
Madrid Conference 1991
Oslo-Palestinian Authority 1993
Wadi Araba with #Jordan 1994-
Wye River 1998
Camp David 2-2000-#Abraham_Agreement-#UAE
and #Bahrain September 2020- #Israel is becoming more intransigent and extremist -
and peace remains cold!
- Abdullah Al-Shayji Prof (@docshayji) September 15, 2020
This announcement came during a meeting between the Bahraini Minister of Trade and Industry, Zayed bin Rashid Al-Zayani, in occupied Jerusalem, with the Israeli Minister of Economy, Orna Barbevi, where the two ministers confirmed the acceleration of negotiations between the two countries on the free trade agreement. Protocols and signing the agreement at the end of next December.
A land trade route to the Gulf states
Lawyer Tal Schneider, a specialist in political economy, told Al-Jazeera Net that the signing of free trade agreements will contribute to enhancing trade exchange between Israeli companies and the UAE and Bahrain, and to expanding the circle of work of businessmen and businesswomen, and the activity of Israeli companies, in order to directly access the markets and cancel or reduce customs duties for various goods.
According to the estimates of the Israeli National Security Research Institute, two years after the Abraham Accords, which came under the title “The rate of progress is impressive, the challenges are many and the potential is far from being exhausted,” the progress in relations between the signatory states and Israel, and trade and economic relations in particular, Organized and fast, the overall picture is “optimistic and promising”, with great realizable potential.
The Deputy Director General of the Abrahamic Accords Institute for Peace, David Aronson, reviewed the potential for expanding trade and economic cooperation with the countries signatories to the agreements, stressing that the most important of them lies in opening a land trade route from Israel to the Gulf states.
Bahraini Minister of Commerce Zayed Al-Zayani with Israeli Minister of Economy Orna Barbevi (Bahraini Press)
In his speech to Al-Jazeera Net, Aharonson attaches great importance to expanding and establishing regional projects in the fields of energy, food, water, digital health and medicine, education and culture, noting that it is necessary to strengthen and expand the framework of the "Abrahamic Accords", especially investing in implementing and strengthening existing agreements to avoid any repercussions. Or negative repercussions that would lead to the withdrawal of countries from it.
It is noteworthy that both the UAE and Bahrain signed two agreements with Israel - in mid-September 2020 - in Washington to normalize relations under the auspices of former US President Donald Trump, which met with widespread popular rejection in the two Gulf countries.