The first all-virtual UAE-Israel Business Leaders Summit has opened, with a keynote address by Israel's President Reuven Rivlin. Image Credit: Gulf News

Dubai: There is great potential for many different forms of cooperation between the UAE and Israel, including economic, said Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin during a keynote address at the first virtual UAE-Israel Business Leaders Summit, co-hosted by Gulf News and TheMarker.

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“This potential is based on our unique strength, in our shared experience of building modern societies on ancient traditions,” said Rivlin. This is also “based on our shared values of education and tolerance - and on our shared spirit of overcoming any challenge,” the President added.

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In his address, the UAE’s Minister of Economy Abdulla Al Marri said: “The signing of the Abraham Accords is a significant event for UAE and Israel [and] opens the doors for a mutually beneficial exchange of talent, research and other initiatives.

“The recent exchange of visits by both public and private sector delegations quite evidently highlights the firm resolve of both governments in achieving these goals.

“The UAE is the primary trade partner for many major economies and developed countries - therefore, the establishment of relations with Israel once again highlights our economy’s open and welcoming nature. And the country’s highly investor friendly business climate.

“There are more than 200 nationalities living and working in the UAE. Therefore, this current phase represents a golden opportunity for both the UAE and Israeli businesses to communities to build partnerships, explore joint projects across priority sectors - most notably in advanced technology, green growth, digital transformation.".

This current phase represents a golden opportunity for UAE and Israeli businesses to communities to build partnerships

- Abdulla Al Marri, UAE’s Minister of Economy
What makes Israel tick for startups
Israel recently crossed the $10 billion mark in global venture capital.
“Israel attracts more global venture capital than anywhere on a per capita basis - more than the US, Europe, India and China,” said author Dan Senor during the UAE-Israel Business Leaders Summit.
In Israel, “you've got this incredible ecosystem of academic institutions and research institutions … that are doing real research. And then you have all these multinational corporations that have set up shop in Israel and are building R&D centres.”
According to him, agritech is among the most interesting in the startup domain. They are “coming up with really interesting technological solutions for agriculture - how to increase the yield using artificial intelligence, precision technology, and machine learning.
“So, you have this swirl of activity - research institutions, multinational corporations, a vibrant venture capital scene and thousands of startups.”