ABU DHABI, 31st May, 2022 (WAM) -- Orna Barbivay, Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry, said that the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between Israel and the UAE will enable both countries to manufacture better products and offer better services at a lower price, that will help build lasting business partnerships for a better future.
In an interview with the Emirates News Agency (WAM), following the signing of the CEPA agreement, Barbivay said, "The government of Israel highly values the relations with the UAE government as a long-term strategic partnership that will serve as an economic growth engine for both countries and for the region." She thanked on this occasion the leaders of the UAE headed by President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan for the shared vision and partnership and wished His Highness success in his leadership of the country.
"The CEPA will undoubtedly enhance our bilateral relations and will serve as an important growth engine for Israel's GDP. It will provide opportunities for Israeli industry working with the UAE to enter new markets, form new partnerships, purchase quality raw materials and to be exposed to new technologies and top research infrastructure," the minister said, adding that the agreement will also help Israel's GDP as export constitutes 30 percent of it.
"Furthermore, as the UAE is a major regional trade hub, the CEPA can facilitate the diversification of Israel's import and contribute to increased competition in Israel, thus lowering the cost of living and increasing the quality of goods and services in Israel," she added.
Israel-UAE trade in goods has amounted to US$1 billion from the signing of the Abraham Accords in September 2020 until the end of 2021. "Since the beginning of 2022, we have witnessed a further significant expansion of trade between Israel and UAE and we are working to make sure that trade relations between Israel and UAE will reach their full potential," Barbivay said.
The Israeli minister anticipated that the signing of the CEPA will contribute dramatically to the extent of trade between Israel and the UAE. "Taking into consideration the UAE and Israel are complementary economies, we foresee a significant increase in the numbers, which will benefit both countries," she added.
Barbivay stated that the agreement aims to provide long-term certainty for businesses and service providers, establishing mechanisms for cooperation and reducing barriers to trade in services. "Several sectors are covered, enabling market access in various fields such as business and professional services, research and development, computer-related services, and environmental services," she said.
In October 2020, Israel and the UAE signed a Bilateral Investment Treaty, establishing a favorable business environment by ensuring predictability, stability, and a beneficial legal framework through several state obligations to foreign investors. The CEPA endorses that treaty, thus further facilitating and securing the investment climate necessary to realise the full economic potential between the two nations, especially as both countries are attractive destinations for foreign investments, according to the Israeli minister.
"The CEPA will have cross sectoral impact, with significant impact on the sectors that are in core interest and strategic plans of both countries such as Water, Energy, Healthcare, Education, FinTech and Cyber," Barbivay said, adding that it will also create a framework of collaboration that will be promoted through the Israel-UAE R&D fund that was recently launched, business delegations and seminars, and the exchange of expertise and know-how.
"It also lays the foundation for enhanced collaboration between the private sectors and entrepreneurs from both sides. These collaborations hold great potential in further expanding bilateral trade in all sectors, setting a foundation for future initiatives and utilisation of the opportunities the CEPA presents," Barbivay concluded.