Photo Credit: Amos Ben-Gershom / GPO
UAE Ambassador to Israel, Muhammad Mahmoud Al-Haja, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen in Jerusalem on March 26, 2023

The free trade zone customs agreement between Israel and the Emirates went live on Sunday, comprising the final step in a trade agreement that will lower tariffs on a majority of products traded between the two nations.

The agreement, signed in the presence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was inked by Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and UAE Ambassador to Israel, Muhammad Mahmoud Al-Haja.


“The historic peace agreement we signed with the United Arab Emirates continues to bear fruit for the benefit of the citizens of both countries,” Netanyahu said following the signing.

“The customs agreement signed today will lead to the implementation of the free trade area agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, which will lower tariffs, lower the cost of living, and give a boost to business between Israel to the United Emirates. I am sure that we will continue to expand Israel’s circle of peace together with other countries in our region,” he said.

“The entry into force of the free trade agreement is important news for the Israeli economy, for strengthening the relationship with the United Arab Emirates and further evidence of the importance of the Abraham Accords,” Cohen added.

The signing of the customs agreement will allow the free trade area agreement between the countries, which was signed in May 2022, to enter into force. With the entry into force of the free trade zone agreement, tariffs on approximately 96 percent of products will be reduced or eliminated. Israeli companies will be allowed access to government tenders in the Emirates.

In 2022, bilateral trade between Israel and the United Arab Emirates reached more than $2.5 billion (not including software and services), thus making the United Arab Emirates the 16th global trading partner with Israel.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.