About a year after the signing of the Avraham agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, the Israel-United Arab Emirates Business Forum was held in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, led by the Beyond Business business delegation of the Export Institute and Bank Hapoalim. The delegation of businessmen who came to the forum included 200 Israeli businessmen and entrepreneurs.
In addition to the bank’s top officials, statesmen and local businessmen such as UAE Trade Minister Thani Ahmad al-Zaudi and UAE chairman Abdullah al-Mazuri, the former Mossad chief Yossi Cohen also stood out for his overt presence.
The members of the delegation were not satisfied with the golden beaches and the luxury towers. For example, the President of the Manufacturers’ Association, Dr. Ron Tomer, met with KIZAD Vice President Muhammad Garib al-Husseini and other manufacturers and businessmen, in order to examine the possibility of starting exports through the United Arab Emirates to the Gulf Principalities and Africa. Shufersal CEO Itzik Aberkhan, Head of the Business Division at Bank Hapoalim Itamar Furman, CEO of Tahina Al-Erez Julia Zohar, Chairman of the Israel-Japan Chamber of Commerce Adv. Zeev Weiss, CEO of Melisron Moshe Rosenblum, Founder of Pingnum Yariv Eisenberg, Co-founder Algoz and others.
The Israeli pavilion at the Expo exhibition (Photo: Sivan Farage)
The president of the Manufacturers’ Association and the chairman of the presidency of employers and businesses, Dr. Ron Tomer, said that he was “proud to lead with my colleagues a delegation of Israeli industrialists to KIZAD, the leading trade area in the UAE. Only about a year ago, we signed a trade agreement And the First Cooperation (MOU) between Israel and the Abu Dhabi Port Company, which controls the largest trading areas in the world, including KIZAD. “Realize the vision. And that’s just the beginning.”
The possibility of operating through free trade zones is a real line for Israeli exporters. To date, exports to the Gulf countries, Africa and Asia have been made through an intermediary, while now they will be able to export Israeli products more quickly and without tariffs and taxes. Payment in the free trade areas is only for the services provided on the spot. The UAE is also a global hub for the distribution of goods to European and American countries.
It should be noted that the Abu Dhabi Port Company, which is the parent company of KIZAD, manages and operates 11 ports and terminals in the UAE and Guinea, rolling in billions of dollars annually and now open to Israeli businessmen. The company operates according to the plans and guidelines derived from the economic vision of the Abu Dhabi government for 2030 and plays a key role in the growth of the emirates and an increase in GDP by 3.6%. Taking advantage of the unusual location of Abu Dhabi, which stands at the center of many trade routes.
As part of the strategy of the Abu Dhabi Ports Group and the Kizad Trade Center (the largest trade center in the Middle East), the company announced the establishment of an official representative office in Israel – Yokwe Technologies, owned by Roi Rahav, which will be the link point for businesses, manufacturers and exporters.
Roi Rahav, co-founder and CEO of Yokwe Technologies, told Maariv: “The United Arab Emirates is a country that values foreign investment. “Israeli companies that want to succeed in the Gulf, and open the door to other Muslim Arab countries, need to establish a statement society, and establish real activity here.”
The move to India
At another festive event of the forum – which was attended by the Chairman of the Export Institute, Adiv Baruch, the President of the Manufacturers’ Association and the Chairman of the Presidency of Employers and Businesses Dr. Ron Tomer and the Chief Economic Adviser of Bank Hapoalim Prof. Leo Leiderman – representatives from Israel, the United Arab Emirates and India Action between the three countries to increase trade volume The goal: Israel’s integration into the huge trade between India and the United Arab Emirates, which is expected to jump to $ 115 billion within five years, while the volume of trade between India and the United Arab Emirates stands at about $ 64 billion. Trade between Israel and the principality stands at about $ 1 billion – two-thirds of which is imports to Israel and the rest is exports from Israel to the United Arab Emirates.
However, it is important to note that the Abrahamic agreements were signed only a year ago, and before them any official trade or export was prohibited. The economic forecast is that in 2022, trade between Israel and the United Arab Emirates will cross the NIS 1.5 billion threshold. Israel will contribute its share in areas in which it excels such as electronic equipment, cyber, chemicals, fertilizers, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals and more.
Chairman of the Export Institute Adiv Baruch: “Dubai has become a connecting bridge to India and the rest of the Eastern countries. Thanks to the Abraham Accords, business opportunities have opened up for Israeli industry, and these opportunities have developed the Israeli economy and ability to do business India. Given the movement constraints imposed on us by the Corona, the presence in the UAE is greater, as the UAE is a key place for further business promotion in a variety of areas. The Export Institute will continue to promote Israeli companies and is happy to lead wide international collaborations. “
President of the Manufacturers’ Association and Chairman of the Presidency of Employers and Businesses Dr. Ron Tomer added: “We are proud to lead the advancement of relations between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and India. An important step that could lead to a flourishing trade relations throughout the region. The Prime Minister of India has visited Israel many times in the past. “The friendships, diplomats and economies between the two countries, and already in the last year it has been possible to see a significant increase in the volume of trade between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.”
Tomer also referred to the target country: “The signing of the peace agreement with the union has also created a real hope for all of us for a new and better future, and if we all join forces now – Israel, which is a small but technologically powerful country, the UAE, which has become a leading global trade center, “We are one of the world’s leading economies – we can get the best out of each of the three countries and create a new force that will lead us to new and groundbreaking achievements.”
Bank Hapoalim’s Chief Economic Adviser, Prof. Leiderman, referred to India’s economic strength as a destination for Israeli exports: India is currently the third largest economy in the world, according to data on gross domestic product, revised at the level of the purchasing power parity index. Moreover, it has a population of 1.4 billion citizens, the second largest in the world. This is a market size with huge potential for entrepreneurs and investors from Israel.
Apart from trading in products and services, it is important to emphasize that investing in India has very interesting potential for Israeli institutional investors. “These investors are being challenged by the very low interest rates in Western countries, and we believe that India’s investment and reforms in the medium and long term are attractive from an asset portfolio perspective.”
Relations between Israel and India warmed especially about five years ago, with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visiting the country in honor of the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The Israel-India CEOs ‘Forum, led by the Manufacturers’ Association, was also established at this event.
India itself is considered one of the most important destinations for Israel in the world. Exports and imports to and from India are on the rise. This can be attributed, among other things, to the warming of bilateral relations between India and Israel, which have strengthened significantly in recent years: many collaborations have been launched in the fields of agriculture, science, health, IT, telecommunications and cooperation in Israeli industry. Both sides are eager for collaborations in other areas like water technologies and smart cities. Currently, according to the Export Institute, India is one of Israel’s top ten export destinations. The eighth largest country for exporting goods from Israel and the second largest exporting country for Israel in Asia. Economic relations with the United Arab Emirates are also heating up, and today there is trade between Israel and the United States, which did not exist at all before the peace agreements.
The Israeli pavilion
Another important event attended by members of the delegation was at the Expo 2020 exhibitions, in which the best businessmen in Israel and the Persian principality were exposed to a meeting with each other in direct contact and joint discourse, culminating in the Israeli side inaugurating a pavilion representing the State of Israel.
Expo 2020 is an event held once every five years and lasts for six months. Each participating country presents to the world and visitors to the exhibition the cutting edge of technology and introduction.
Businessman Ahmad Makalda: “I believe that every meeting between businessmen and industrialists and high-tech people and funds and more is an added bonus for the delegation. Such meetings add a lot to industry and marketing. Bank Hapoalim’s delegation added a personal acquaintance with each of the bank’s That personal connection and maintaining the professional lines add more to your success in the business world. “
Gadi Arieli, CEO of the Export Institute: “We are pleased to open the business events at the Israeli pavilion at the Expo. Throughout the year, the Export Institute will work with the Director of Foreign Trade to create business opportunities and expose Israeli industry to events and delegations in various sectors. This spectacular “
Adiv Baruch, Chairman of the Export Institute: “We are pleased to open the business events at the Israeli pavilion at the Expo. Throughout the year, the Export Institute will work, in collaboration with the Foreign Trade Administration, to create business opportunities and expose Israeli industry to events and delegations in various sectors. Israel’s participation in an event taking place in the UAE is very important and has many business implications. The Foreign Ministry’s magnificent pavilion has been chosen as one of the three most beautiful pavilions at the Expo, and it represents Israel’s support for the high-tech industry and sharpens the contribution of Israeli innovation to global challenges. These days we are marking a year since the Abrahamic Agreements, and we are marking a historic turning point in the Middle East, one of whose goals is to create as many collaborations as possible between Israeli and emirate societies. “Indeed, it seems that the new cooperation will continue to intensify.
Tzachi Ronen, CEO and owner of Enginity PM, which offers engineering solutions and services, planning and project management in the field of pharma, biotechnology, cleantech, podtech and clean rooms: I am convinced that this is a deep and significant relationship that will benefit everyone. “
There are also those who have been working in the union for a while, one of whom is Moti Friedman, owner of an Israeli cosmetics brand: “We are the first Israeli cosmetics brand to market in the Emirates in addition to 30 other countries around the world. This is an exciting collaboration for me and our brand.” Postcard of Israeli products and ownership in the shopping centers.
Jonathan Lazowski. Founder and CEO of StarkSherpal, a construction tech company that helps engineers reduce the use of concrete with the help of artificial intelligence. “The delegation has helped us a lot in opening doors with the right actors in the public and business sector of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. There is a huge need to save on construction costs as well as reduce carbon emissions from concrete use in the Emirates.
The writer was a guest of the Beyond Business delegation of Bank Hapoalim and the Export Institute