Trade between the United Arab Emirates and Israel has increased considerably this year, according to recent comments from an Israeli diplomat.
Israel’s ambassador to the UAE, Amir Hayek, tweeted Thursday that bilateral trade during the first seven months of 2022 reached $1.407 billion. In the entirety of 2021, trade amounted to $1.221 billion. These figures exclude software, Hayek said.
UAE Minister of Foreign Trade Thani Al Zeyoubi commented on the news Friday, tweeting, “The potential is huge” and that the recent UAE-Israel trade agreement “will be a powerful engine of growth.”
Why it matters: Israel and the UAE established full diplomatic relations in 2020 as part of the Trump administration-brokered Abraham Accords. Since then, the two countries have continuously strengthened their relations, especially in the economic and technology sectors.
In May, Israel and the UAE signed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. The stated goal of the deal, which lowers tariffs on traded goods, is to boost trade to $10 billion within five years. It was the first free trade deal Israel has ever made with an Arab state.
Know more: The main good traded between Israel and the UAE in 2020 by far was diamonds, according to the US-based Observatory for Economic Complexity. The Israel Diamond Exchange opened an office in Dubai in February.