By Swann Collins, investor, writer and consultant in international affairs – Eurasia Business News, December 11, 2022

The Governments of the United Arab Emirates and Israel have ratified a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. This was announced on Twitter by the Minister of Foreign Trade of the UAE Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi.

The free trade agreement, which was signed in May, will abolish or reduce tariffs on 96% of the goods traded by countries.

According to Mr. Al Zeyoudi, non-oil trade between the UAE and Israel reached $ 2 billion in the first nine months of 2022, which is 114% more than in the same period in 2021.

The agreement will accelerate this progress as we create opportunities in key sectors such as advanced technologies, renewable energy and food security,” the minister explained.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett called the treaty the “fastest” free trade agreement in Israel’s history. He said it was a one-of-a-kind agreement signed between Israel and an Arab country. The deal is expected to increase bilateral trade to more than $10 billion over five years and add $1.9 billion to the UAE’s GDP over the same period. Until mid-2020, the countries did not have full diplomatic and economic relations, the UAE did not recognize Israel as a state.

In the UAE, GDP growth is projected to reach above 6 percent in 2022, improving from 3.8 percent in 2021. Inflation has risen with global trends and is expected to average just over 5 percent this year, according to a report of the International Monetary Fund.

The UAE’s GDP is expected to grow 6.5% this year, and more than 7% next year, the country’s economy minister said on December 8.

According to the OECD, GDP growth in Israel is projected to moderate from a strong 6.3% in 2022 to 2.8% in 2023 and 3.4% in 2024. The global slowdown is set to weaken demand from Israel’s trading partners. Elevated inflation will slow disposable income and private consumption.

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Israel and the United Arab Emirates are now leading investors in cyber and digital services. On 7 October 2022, Dubai Airport Freezone (DAFZ), part of Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority (DIEZ) announced the launch of METADAFZ, which aims to provide the free zone’s clients with a smooth digital experience in the metaverse. The initiative aims to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and businesses to the free zone, by uncovering DAFZ’s unique offerings, products, and solutions. METADAFZ will enable clients from across the globe to conduct meetings via a virtual platform, offering a unique and semi-realistic experience regardless of the physical location. The innovative initiative offers an alternative to the traditional way of conducting business activities, and empowers company representatives to discuss future work prospects, as well as how to launch businesses and projects in Dubai.

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© Copyright 2022 – Swann Collins, investor, writer and consultant in international affairs.