Mohieddine Kronfol, CIO - Global Sukuk and MENA FI, Franklin Templeton and Avraham Ortal, CEO of Leumi Partners who attended a panel discussion on Financing business growth at the UAE-Israel Business Leaders Summit. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Clear areas of mutually beneficial co-operation can be worked out between UAE and Israel... and with access to ample funding.

These would include - but not be confined to - sectors such as defense, technology, water and agriculture, according to Mohieddine Kronfol, CIO - Global Sukuk and MENA FI, Franklin Templeton, Speaking at the first virtual UAE-Israel Business Leaders Summit, co-hosted by Gulf News and TheMarker. “I think the UAE can provide some capital, logistics support and an attractive tourist destination for consumers as well.

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"This is the beginning of a long journey, but it is certainly a very positive step.”

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Strategic outreach

Avraham Ortal, CEO of Leumi Partners, noted that there are many similarities between the two countries. “There's sort of an alignment of interest between the two countries," he added. "And obviously the UAE being a hub and gate to the East is something that definitely could be utilized in the future.

“Especially on the gas exploration front and on the downstream side, I think there's a lot to do in terms of cooperating. Downstream opportunities and innovation relating to the petrochemical industry are obviously other areas of innovation."

Surmounting challenges

“The opportunity is enormous,” said Kronfol. There could be “a viable way to take on some of the medium- and long-term challenges the region shares. [It could] even be just mobilizing the private sector, to be able to diversify economies, and also start attract money into the region.”

Bridge building

Banks will play a major part in facilitating cross-border transactions. Bankers could help reach an “optimal resolution” in a relationship that is "new and never done before,” said Ortal.

However, there’s some more work that needs to be done, according to Kronfol. “There's still some heavy lifting that needs to take place for these accords to become entrenched, for the confidence to build," the Franklin Templeton official added. "There are other important and significant players that ideally should be part of this.”