The biggest news to emerge from President Yitzhak Herzog’s visit to the United Arab Emirates this week is not political or military, but economic, and concerning very large sums, Globes reported Tuesday morning.
Globes has learned that the emirates have decided to thaw the $10 billion in investments in private Israeli companies that Crown Prince Muhammad bin Zayed made to former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), a sovereign wealth fund owned by the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, as well as the Mubadala Investment Company PJSC, an Emirati state-owned sovereign wealth fund, are expected to participate.
But the first fund to enter the Israeli market with an investment of $2 billion is the Abu Dhabi Growth Fund (ADG), which is owned by the Government of Abu Dhabi. The fund wants to invest $200 million in Israeli companies this year, and a similar amount every year for the next decade.
Globes cited a source in the UAE who said they had been waiting for the political system in Israel to stabilize after two years of repeated, indecisive elections, and, apparently, President Herzog was able to deliver the message of stability every business person wants to hear.
Speaking at Expo 2020 Dubai on Monday, on the occasion of Israel’s national day, President Herzog said: “Israel is a country in which obstacles become opportunities, and where the impossible is a tantalizing challenge.” He pointed out that the Israeli pavilion “has provided a phenomenal taste of what we have to offer—from water tech and sustainable agriculture to public health to smart cities and ground-breaking solutions for a circular economy.”
The president stressed that the recent peace accords with the Gulf States “was a decision not only to normalize ties but to shape a new tomorrow for the next generation of both our nations and of the entire region. It is a short time since the Accords were announced, and already our trade has topped $1 billion, more than 120 agreements have been signed, and a $100 million bilateral R&D fund was established just very recently. Israelis and Emiratis are studying together and learning each other’s cultures and languages. 250,000 Israelis have already visited the Emirates, and we await many Emiratis traveling to Israel following COVID.”