Billion a Year: UAE-Israeli Trade Promises Huge Gains

Peace agreement with UAE will be a major boost for Israel’s economy providing up to 15,000 new jobs.

By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel

Trade between Israel and the United Arab Emirates will quickly soar to $4 billion within a short time, Israel’s Minister of Intelligence said Monday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and UAE leader Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan are expected to sign a historic treaty establishing diplomatic relations next week at the White House in a gala ceremony hosted by President Donald Trump.

Last week the UAE announced it was canceling its economic boycott of Israel and officials from the two countries met on Monday to sign the first trade agreements opening communications and banking between the two former adversaries.

Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen said the breakthrough with the Emirates would have huge benefits for the Israeli economy that has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

“The economic potential – beyond the importance of security – with the UAE is that within three to five years I estimate the trade with the UAE will reach $4 billion, something that will generate 15,000 jobs in Israel,” Cohen said in a Reshet Bet radio interview.

The two countries are looking to cooperate in the fields of defense, energy, medicine, tourism, technology and financial investment as well as working together in the war on terrorism to shut down the financial channels used to fund terror groups.

The UAE is planning to make its first official visit to Israel on Sept. 22 to work on the details of normalizing relations, Reuters reported.

The Israeli airline Israir announced Sunday that it was already scheduling slots for commercial flights from Tel Aviv to Dubai in preparation for an expected tourist rush by Israelis who want to visit the Gulf state.

The heads of Israel’s two biggest banks are expected to fly to Dubai later in September in the first high level financial mission since the two countries agreed to normalize relations.

The UAE will be the third Arab country after Egypt and Jordan to sign a peace treaty with Israel. Why no other country has yet publicly stated they will follow the UAE lead, the leaders of Bahrain, Oman and Sudan have all made positive statements about the Israel-UAE deal.

In another positive move last week, Saudi Arabia announced that it was giving permission for flights to and from all countries to use its airspace in a tacit approval of the UAE move, and ending decades of a ban on El Al flights that had to detour around that country adding several hours on all flights to Asia from Israel.


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