Israel and the United Kingdom have agreed on steps to upgrade their free trade agreement. The announcement came during a three-day tour to Israel by the UK’s Secretary of State for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan.

Britain is Israel’s largest trading partner in Europe and its third largest trading partner overall. In 2021, the countries mutually traded an estimated $7.7 billion.

Trevelyan hoped that the new agreement will be completed within a year.

 

 

Israeli Minister of Economy Orna Barbivai said, “The existing cooperation between the economies of the United Kingdom and Israel is a good basis for deepening and expanding trade relations and economic relations between the countries, and we will work—already in the coming months—to lower trade and import barriers to ensure the realization of economic and commercial potential.”

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss are “very passionate” about deepening ties with Israel, Trevelyan said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Trevelyan tweeted a “call for input” from businesses and the public on the new FTA.

The minister said she wants to cut down market barriers for British businesses to work with their Israeli counterparts, and the call will give a clearer picture of areas that she should be discussing.

One of the elements Trevelyan was most excited about discussing was a UK-Israel Innovation Summit, expected to take place this spring in London.

“It’s an opportunity for both of us to showcase our leading-edge businesses, and an opportunity to drive forward that part of the FTA,” she said.

The areas to be covered in the summit are life sciences, cyber, Artificial Intelligence and possibly space.

 

“Key businesses are doing amazing things, and it will be a great opportunity to more widely tell the story of what the FTA is about and what our plans are,” Trevelyan stated.

 

Trevelyan said she was also interested in seeing the Tel Aviv Light Rail project because the UK is a world leader in building infrastructure.

“We want to see how we can join those up so that Israel can get that UK expertise to help them do some of that stuff,” she said.

Source: JNS / Jerusalem Post

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