Israel’s Ambassador to the UAE, Eitan Na’eh has stated that the country is exploring the potential to set up a trading land corridor with the UAE to further improve its bilateral relationship.
Mr. Na’eh, who is expected to formally submit his diplomatic credentials to the UAE government soon, said that the current air and sea connections permit goods to pass between the two countries within a few hours and through shipping routes in 16 days.
“Now we are looking into the potential of trailers and lorries carrying goods from the UAE reaching Israel in three days and vice versa soon,” said Mr. Na’eh, a 57-year-old diplomat who previously served as Israel’s Ambassador to Azerbaijan and Turkey, and also as Deputy Head of Mission to the London Embassy.
He figured out that Israel has trade agreements with several Western countries, while the UAE has good trade ties with Eastern countries, and the two countries can stand to benefit from each other’s trading strengths by joining forces.
“I truly believe that the UAE on the eastern part of Arabia and Israel on the western part of Asia – on the Mediterranean – can create a trade corridor through land and sea to the rest of the world. This ‘corridor of peace’ will create great possibilities for trade and tourism. Business communities in Israel and the UAE are now looking into ways to increase trade. Each country brings its relative advantage. We have trade agreements with the West [the US and European Union]. You are an opening to the East. So, it is a huge market.”
On the business front, he said that Israel has identified 29 potential areas for cooperation with the UAE and has already inked bilateral agreements in eight sectors.
“Israelis are firm believers and that’s why we believe in what we call circles of innovation. We can set up joint circles of innovation. I think there is a lot of room for mutual investments. More Israeli companies will open their front offices here in the UAE or set up factories,” he further added.
There have also been several trade, banking, aviation, and technology agreements signed between Israeli and Emirati companies. Last year, the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADO) selected Tel Aviv to set up its first international branch, to facilitate connections between innovation-focused companies and organizations in Abu Dhabi and Israel.