UAE, Israel to explore cooperation in the development of tech ecosystems

Dubai - Rountable discussion seeks to understand business dynamics between countries and forming long-term relationships


Published: Wed 16 Dec 2020, 5:21 PM

Last updated: Wed 16 Dec 2020, 5:23 PM

Technology leaders from the UAE and Israel came together for an event aimed at creating a circle of experts who will build on an ongoing dialogue and collaboration between the tech ecosystems of both countries.

Titled Sharing Innovation, the UAE-Israel startup ecosystem event, the roundtable discussion was organised by Google and witnessed the participation of Faisal Al Hammadi, Acting Assistant Undersecretary for Entrepreneurship and SMEs. The participants discussed how the UAE’s economic strategy aligns with the appendix of the Abraham Accords.

“The implementation of a slew of measures and initiatives at both federal and local levels is further enhancing the openness of the UAE economy, presenting a golden opportunity for the Israeli business community to take advantage of the numerous economic prospects that are being currently generated,” Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs, said in his opening remark.

Dr. Al Falasi further reviewed the UAE’s success in establishing a robust SME sector in line with the highest standards stands out at both regional and international levels.

He noted that the sector contributed 53 per cent to the UAE’s GDP in 2019, up from about 49 per cent in 2018. Through the efforts we have currently undertaken, we strive to increase SME sector’s contribution to 60 per cent by 2021, also underscoring its importance in the country’s economic diversification, he explained.

He added that the UAE’s main focus areas include the retention of high-quality human capital, advancement of key industries enabled by technology such as healthcare, cyber and aerospace, mobility, water, 4th Industrial Revolution; Agri-tech and food-tech; and leveraging the UAE’s geographic position as a global hub and that these priorities map well onto Israel’s strengths.

Speaking at the event, Meir Brand, Vice President of Google, EMEA Emerging Markets, said: “The signing of the Abraham Accords presents huge opportunities to tech entrepreneurs in both the UAE and Israel. Google has had operations in Israel since 2005 and in the UAE since 2007, and we employ thousands of Googlers in the region to help people and businesses make the most of the opportunities that the internet offers. We intend to continue to help support the tech industries in the UAE, Israel and across the region, enabling entrepreneurs and businesses to reach new consumers and customers, access new markets, and - in doing so - to be a growth engine for national and regional economies.”

The two sides agreed to continue holding meetings to ensure coordination and consultation between the public and private sectors in both countries to strengthen channels of communication and promote constructive dialogue between experts and technology leaders in the UAE and Israel.

These efforts will also expand bilateral cooperation in the field of advanced technology solutions and applications in a way that contributes to driving economic development in both countries and in the region as a whole.

Leading the roundtable talk were panellists; Henrique Cymerman, President of Israel-GCC Chamber of Commerce and renowned international journalist for the Middle East, Gilad Carni Founder & CEO, UAE Israel Innovation Office, and James Khoury, Co-Founder & CEO, NEWME GCC & Israel Business Consultants and the session was moderated by Lorenzo Jooris, CEO, Creative Zone.

The conference was described as a historic moment by many, as it was the first time the Israeli and UAE delegates, entrepreneurs, and business owners came together under one roof to network, understand the deep-rooted business dynamics of both countries’ and form long-term relationships.


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