New business council to ensure steady flow of UAE-Israel investments

Forum first of its kind to be held following signing of Abraham Accords


Michal Michelle Divon

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Published: Thu 25 Nov 2021, 8:57 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Feb 2023, 9:59 AM

The UAE will establish a government-led Business Council to help ensure a steady flow of investment between the UAE and Israel, says Minister of State for Entrepreneurship, SME’s and Tourism Ahmad Belhoul during a business forum held this week in Tel Aviv.

Over 80 participants from various sectors across the UAE arrived in Israel on Wednesday to explore business opportunities and meet their relevant counterparts. The delegation was headed by Minister of Entrepreneurship, SME’s and Tourism Ahmad Belhoul and Minister of State for Foreign Trade Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi. It also included dignitaries from the UAE’s Department of Economic Development, Dubai Future Foundation, Abu Dhabi Ports, DP World, G42, ADIO, ADNOC, MASDAR and more.

The business forum is the first to be held in Israel following the signing of the Abraham Accords and expresses a mutual sentiment; to push forward business and bilateral trade.

“Ever since we signed the Abraham Accords, we did have a lot of business from the Israeli side to the UAE, [while] investors in the UAE were able to understand what was available but haven’t seen it themselves… Part of what we’re doing right now with our Ambassador Mohammed Al Khaja is to establish a business council that will be very targeted and very effective”, says Minister Belhoul.


Organized by the UAE Embassy in Israel, Israel’s Ministry of Economy and Startup Nation Central, the business forum will be held several times a year in the UAE and Israel and will focus on advancing mutual interests. UAE Ambassador to Israel Mohamed Al Khaja said the main objective of the business delegation is to establish the people-to-people connection which is fundamental to commerce between the two nations.

“I feel that we have 50 years of no relations to catch up with… and what we can do together in creating a new narrative of what peace can achieve and how our region could prosper from such partnerships, says Ambassador Khaja.

According to data from the Israel Export Institute, trade between the two countries has amounted to $1 billion over the past year and could exceed $3 billion within three years.

Eliran Elimelech, VP of Strategic Partnerships at Start-Up Nation Central: "We conclude this week with a great deal of satisfaction. Seeing all the enthusiasm and optimism throughout the events was extremely encouraging and we look forward to holding many more events, both here in Israel and in the UAE, in the months to come. We are big believers in the notion of innovation diplomacy and see it as an effective way to produce solid, long-term, and mutually beneficial collaborations.

Officials from both sides have confirmed that a regional free trade agreement is being finalized and should be implemented in the coming months. The next business forum is expected to take place in Abu Dhabi this coming January.

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