UAE says Israel trade pact to go into effect on April 1
The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) signed between the UAE and Israel in 2022 will go into effect on Saturday, April 1.
The trade agreement will see reduced or removed tariffs on more than 96 percent of product lines, according to the UAE’s Ministry of Economy.
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In addition to the new tariff structures, “the agreement with Israel removes unnecessary barriers to trade, improves market access for services suppliers, opens opportunities in government procurement, provides a platform for SMEs to expand internationally, establishes parameters for digital trade, protects intellectual property, and creates transparent trade remedy mechanisms,” the Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.
The agreement is expected to increase non-oil bilateral trade from $1.3 billion recorded in 2021 to $10 billion by the end of the decade.
In 2022, bilateral non-oil trade reached $2.49 billion, with re-exports from Israel growing 71.2 percent and non-oil exports to Israel climbing 48.6 percent, WAM reported.
The UAE-Israel CEPA is the second of the Gulf nation’s new foreign-trade deals to be ratified following a similar deal with India in 2022.
It has also concluded CEPA deals with Indonesia, Turkey and Georgia.
The UAE and Israel normalized ties in 2020 in a US-brokered deal. However, ties between Israel and its neighbors have been shaky following uncivil comments made by a minister in Netanyahu’s coalition-led government.
The UAE issued a statement condemning the Israeli finance minister Betzalel Smotrich’s call to destroy a Palestinian village earlier this month.
At the time, the UAE called for strengthening tolerance and coexistence, and stressed the need to “confront hate speech and violence.”
It also reiterated the need for establishing an independent Palestinian state along 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital and “advance the Middle East Peace Process.”
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