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Israel says UAE free trade deal to take effect April 1

AFP . Jerusalem
28 Mar 2023 00:00:00 | Update: 27 Mar 2023 23:10:30
Israel says UAE free trade deal to take effect April 1
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu applauds as Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and UAE Ambassador to Israel Mohamed al-Khaja exchange signed copies of the custom agreement between the countries on Sunday – AFP Photo

Israel and the United Arab Emirates on Sunday signed a customs agreement, Israeli officials said, the final step of a free trade deal inked after the two countries normalised ties.

Signed in May 2022, the free trade deal is set to take effect on April 1 and is the first of its kind between Israel and an Arab country, Israeli authorities said.

Hailing the “historic” free trade pact, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it would “reduce customs duties, lower the cost-of-living and inject energy into business between Israel and the UAE”.

A statement from the Israeli foreign ministry said the free trade deal would see customs duties “lowered or cancelled on approximately 96 percent of goods and will allow Israeli companies to gain access to UAE government tenders”.