‘ Trillion Opportunity’: Israel Touts Arab Investment in Israeli Desert-Based Technologies
Excitement growing as Israelis, Arabs see huge potential in the upcoming peace agreement with United Arab Emirates.
By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that the soon to be signed peace deal with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will make a potential trillion dollars of investment capital available to boost the economy, especially in Israel’s southern desert region where Israel has a reputation for making the desert bloom.
“We have good news that is very important to the state and to the Negev. The peace agreement with the UAE is a great opportunity for the injection of new investments in the Negev,” Netanyahu said, telling members of the Knesset Negev lobby that Israel’s new Arab partners were ready to speak with their checkbooks.
“I am aware of their desire to invest here in their sovereign wealth fund, which, by the way, is almost $1 trillion,” Netanyahu said.
“They are very interested in investing in Israel. I also intend to bring them to the Negev and I am certain that you will show them the great possibilities that exist here.”
Even before last week’s historic announcement of the peace deal by President Donal Trump, Israel and UAE representatives began meeting in Europe over a year ago, an Israeli investor revealed.
““We discussed the possibilities of employing top-quality desert agriculture with specific crops, such as strawberries and blueberries, in order to replace imports, and other crops such as tomatoes and more,” Or Haviv of the venture capital firm Arieli Capital told Israel21C.
“The UAE wants to learn how to do agriculture in the desert and gain produce which is at the level of that grown in Israel,” Haviv said, adding there are already plans to bring a UAE delegation to Israel for training.
“The entire region is a desert and in the middle of it they built an amazing airport and one of the best tourism systems I’ve seen,” Israeli investor Alan Feld, who visited the UAE in February, told the Calcalist. “They want to diversify their sources of income and not be so dependent on the price of oil. They see themselves as a regional technology center and Israel is a good source of technology for them.”
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