How the UAE moved from boycotting Israel to investing billions in its economy


Here’s what you need to know about the UAE-Israel pact and trade:

What does the pact entail?

Tariffs will be abolished or reduced on 96% of goods traded between the countries, including food, medicines, diamonds, jewelry, fertilizers and other chemicals.

A majority of the duties would be waived immediately and others would be removed in five years. A lower rate applies for projects to which rates apply.

Dorian Barak, co-chair of the UAE-Israel Business Council, expects to see approximately 1,000 Israeli companies operating out of or through the UAE by the end of the year, including subsidiaries of Israeli companies, representative offices, sales operations, distributors, and new ventures.

What does each party gain from the trade?

Research by Paul Rivlin, an economist at Tel Aviv University, shows that the value of Israeli imports from the UAE was more than double its exports last year, but other experts say Israel has much more to gain from the trade with the UAE in the future.

According to the state-run Emirates News Agency, WAM, the UAE’s exports to Israel are expected to grow 0.5% by 2030, and the FTA would add $1.9 billion to the country’s economy within five years. .

The UAE wants high net worth individuals, tourists, entrepreneurs, startups and advanced technologies, says Robert Mogielnicki, a senior scientist at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, but “Israel is likely to reap greater immediate economic rewards. Israelis simply have a lot more to gain than the Emirates.”

The UAE would see an influx of Israeli companies looking to set up regional headquarters from which to focus on business in the greater Middle East, South Asia and the Far East, Barak said.

Given Dubai’s status as a regional export hub, does trade with the UAE give Israeli products access to a wider market?

Israelis view Dubai as a hub from which to communicate with the wider Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and the Far East, Barak says. “This would be a transformation for Israeli business in the region.”

The UAE, he says, will become the main regional export and re-export market for Israeli goods. “I expect you will now see Israeli products appearing on store shelves and in factories” by the region.

However, Mogielnicki says Israel is a controversial player in the region, so trading with the UAE would give it a foothold in an untapped regional market, but not a “VIP pass.”

The UAE and Israel's whirlwind honeymoon has moved beyond normalization

Businesses already exist between Israeli companies and state and private companies in the Gulf, said Karen Young, a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute in Washington. The trade deal would “help newcomers feel more comfortable and encourage more direct trade and investment.”

Will we then see Israeli products on Saudi shelves?

Saudi Arabia is the largest Arab economy and access to its market is sought after. The kingdom recognizes that leverage, experts say, and it showed it last July, when it excluded Israeli products exported from the UAE from preferential tariff concessions under agreements with other Gulf states.

“Saudi Arabia isn’t just going to give away its market to Israelis through Dubai,” Mogielnicki said. “The Saudis will want to secure something big in exchange for access to the Gulf’s largest market.”

Gulf countries, with which the UAE has free trade agreements, account for a large proportion of Dubai’s exports and re-exports.

What does this mean for the Arab boycott of Israel?

“The Arab boycott has softened over many years and the free trade agreement between Israel and the UAE is a big nail in his coffin,” Rivlin said.

Trade with the UAE may not end the Arab boycott of Israel, Barak says, but makes it “irrelevant from a business perspective”.

the summary

Turkey says it will visit Saudi crown prince

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday that Ankara and Riyadh agreed on a visit by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Turkey, but a date had not yet been set.

  • Background: Ties between the regional rivals were tense after a Saudi assassination squad killed Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul in 2018. fast.
  • Why it matters: A possible visit by the Saudi crown prince would follow a trip by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Saudi Arabia in April, ending tensions between the two as Turkey looks for ways to support its economy during an economic crisis. crisis.

Russia’s Wagner Group linked to land mines and booby traps in Libya, says Human Rights Watch

Russia’s Wagner Group was linked to the use of banned landmines and booby traps in Libya between 2019 and 2020, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday.
  • Background: Wagner Group, a private military security contractor, has previously been linked to fighting in Libya, reportedly east-based commander Khalifa Haftar and his Libyan national army during their attacks on the Libyan capital between 2019 and 2020, according to Human Rights Watch and UN expert reports. Findings showed that deadly landmines prevented civilians from returning home after the war. Human Rights Watch called for a “credible and transparent international investigation” that would bring justice to those “wrongfully killed and maimed by these weapons”.
  • Why it matters: The US has designated the group as a Russian military “proxy force” that has been active in the Middle East and Africa for years. In March, British intelligence said Wagner had been deployed to eastern Ukraine a month before the Russian invasion. The Kremlin denies any connection to the group.

Russian Foreign Minister meets with Gulf counterparts ahead of OPEC+ meeting

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with foreign ministers of Gulf Cooperation Council states in Riyadh on Wednesday ahead of a meeting of oil-exporting states to decide on production.

  • Background: Lavrov had previously met his Saudi counterpart and both men praised the degree of cooperation within OPEC+, Russia’s foreign ministry said. The alliance will decide on Thursday whether to continue its modest increase in oil production.
  • Why it mattersLavrov’s meetings came shortly after the European Union agreed on significant cuts to Russian crude oil imports as part of the latest sanctions linked to Moscow’s invasion of Moscow. Western states have called on oil producers to increase production to curb global inflation and help stifle Russia’s war effort.

what to watch

Qatar Airways CEO speaks with Becky Anderson about the country’s plan to operate more than 160 daily flights to spectators across the region for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Watch the interview here:

Around the region

A book on gender roles in Libya has won a prestigious award for Arabic fiction, but has also sparked some backlash against the author.

Mohammed Alnaas, 31, at the end of last month became the first Libyan and youngest author to win the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) for his debut novel “Bread at Uncle Milad’s Table”.

The book explores gender roles and challenges traditional ideas about masculinity. The story is set in a remote village in Libya and revolves around the main character, Milad. After Milad gets engaged, Milad’s family life becomes the talk of the town as he pursues his passion for baking bread while his fiancée Zeinab works to maintain the house.

Hearing the gossip, Milad publicly questions society’s deep-seated ideas about gender.

“The Libyan man is a victim of the traditional laws, just like the Libyan woman, and while the women’s struggle against the social and traditional laws is clear, the men’s struggle is not,” Alnaas told CNN. †[Men] are trapped in their own trap because they always have to prove to people that they are men, tough men, strong men. They become addicted to that image of the ideal man and become machines in the social order.”

The victory was celebrated by Libyans on social media, but the book has also sparked controversy. Alnaas laments the “campaign” on the ethics of the book that was launched on social media, noting that some of those who congratulated him had deleted their posts.

Under former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, state censorship put a stranglehold on literature. Books that did not meet the official line — as described in Ghadhafi’s infamous “Green Book” — were banned.

The 2011 uprising opened the door to the consumption of once banned books, but Ghadhafi-era laws have still been used to curb freedom of expression.

Describing his view of the current landscape for Libyan literature, Alnaas told CNN, “It struggles, but it fights back.”

Sponsored by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, the IPAF is considered the most prestigious literary award in the Arab world. Alnaas’ book is being translated into English.

By Nicholas Pearce

Time Capsule

Adolf Eichmann stands in his bulletproof glass cage to hear Israel's Supreme Court unanimously reject an appeal against his death sentence in Jerusalem on May 29, 1962.

Adolf Eichmann, one of the architects of Nazi Germany’s “Final Solution”, was executed 60 years ago this week in Israel.

Born in Germany in 1906, he joined the Nazis’ elite SS organization in 1932 and quickly rose through the ranks. Ten years later, he carried out a plan to exterminate all European Jews in an operation dubbed the “final solution to the Jewish question.”

Eichmann was responsible for the identification, assembly and transportation of millions of Jews in World War II. After Germany’s defeat, he was captured by American troops, but escaped in 1946 before being tried. He hid in Argentina until 1960, when he was captured by Israeli agents in Buenos Aires in what became known as “Operation Finale.”

Eichmann was smuggled out by the Israelis to face trial in Jerusalem. In December 1961, Eichmann was found guilty on all charges and on June 1, 1962, he was hanged in Tel Aviv.

By Mohammed Abdelbary

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