UAE-Israel trade has ‘limitless’ potential, says PM Naftali Bennett during visit

Non-oil commerce between the countries reached $700 million in one year

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Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett says the potential for trade between his country and the UAE is "limitless".

Mr Bennett arrived in the UAE on Sunday for the first official visit by an Israeli leader to the Emirates.

He was welcomed at the Presidential Terminal at Abu Dhabi International Airport by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation.

In September last year, the UAE and Israel normalised relations through the signing of the Abraham Accords and much has been done since then to bolster a flourishing friendship.

Our co-operation provides unprecedented economic opportunities not only for us, but for more countries
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett

Mr Bennett said the visit underlined the progress in relations between the countries.

"In my opinion, this is the peace and the new reality this region is witnessing, and we are working together to ensure a better future for our children," Mr Bennett told UAE news agency Wam.

The two nations have strengthened bonds in a variety of sectors, particularly in the area of trade.

Non-oil trade between the UAE and Israel reached $700 million in one year, according to the Minister of Economy, Abdulla bin Touq.

The two countries also signed 60 major agreements at the government and private sector levels, covering industries such as science and technology, artificial intelligence, tourism, logistics, transportation, health care and energy.

Mr Bennett said the potential for further growth was unlimited.

"The volume of mutual trade between us has expedited within a few months, with limitless future opportunities to develop it," he said.

"Israel, like the UAE, is a regional hub of trade. Our co-operation provides unprecedented economic opportunities not only for us, but for more countries, which is another element for enhancing stability and prosperity in this region."

He said the fields of health and food security "will constitute a major part of the co-operation between us".

The Israel pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, which has a theme of 'Journey to Tomorrow', has been a popular attraction for visitors. Recently, it celebrated the Jewish festival of Hanukkah.

"The Israeli pavilion at Expo 2020 in Dubai embodies an optimistic outlook for tomorrow and a boundless quest to make it better, not only for us, but for our friends and allies all over the world in various fields, and this is a fundamental value of Judaism," he said.

Updated: December 13, 2021, 7:13 AM