UAE's Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi with Israel's Major General (Retd) Orna Barbivay. Image Credit: Twitter/@ThaniAlZeyoudi

A comprehensive trade deal between the UAE and Israel will come into effect on April 1, Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, said on his official Twitter handle.

The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) is expected to significantly boost bilateral non-oil trade beyond $10 billion within five years, while also opening up market access for exporters and creating new investment opportunities in priority sectors, Dr. Al Zeyoudi said.

The minister stated that the agreement opens up the possibility of new collaborations with Israel’s advanced technology ecosystem as well as in fields of renewable energy, agri-tech, and healthcare.

The UAE-Israel CEPA was signed by Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy of the UAE, and Major General (Retd) Orna Barbivay, Minister of Economy and Industry for Israel, in Dubai last year. The agreement marked the beginning of a new era of cooperation between the two nations, which established diplomatic ties in September 2020.

The CEPA promises to usher in a new era of economic cooperation between the two nations. With tariffs on over 96 per cent tariff lines and 99 per cent of trade value being lowered or eliminated, this agreement opens up new markets for exporters, attracts investment, and creates opportunities across industries such as energy, environment, and digital trade. This agreement also provides a platform for SMEs in both countries to expand internationally.

The UAE-Israel CEPA is part of the UAE’s initiative to build a stronger, more resilient economic future and drive the global post-COVID-19 recovery. In 2021, the UAE embarked on a programme of enhancing bilateral trade relations with key partners around the world as part of its Projects of the 50 initiative. This agreement was the second bilateral trade accord concluded by the UAE, following the UAE-India CEPA, which entered into force on May 1, 2022.