Bahrain, Israel seek to reach free trade agreement by end of year
While economic cooperation with the UAE have taken off since the signing of the Abraham accords, Israel’s trade with Bahrain lags far behind, with total trade estimated at around $7.5 million
By News Desk - October 31 2022

On 31 October, Bahrain and Israel seek to reach a free trade agreement by the end of the year, according to official sources from both nations.

Bahrain signed a US-brokered normalization agreement with Israel alongside the UAE in 2020, known as the Abraham accords.

However, while trade between the UAE and Israel has since taken off, trade between Bahrain and Israel is still lagging behind, with the total trade between both countries at just $7.5 million.

“We’re optimistic and hopeful that we will close the deal by the end of the year,” Bahraini Minister of Industry and Commerce Zayed Alzayani said during his visit to the Israeli venture firm Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP).

Alzayani discussed cooperation with JVP founder Erel Margalit, adding that the next round of free trade talks is expected to occur in November. 

Israel’s Economy Ministry disclosed to Reuters that it would send a delegate to Bahrain’s capital for the upcoming round to “conclude negotiations as soon as possible.”

Earlier this month, the two countries signed an agreement to strengthen and expand their cooperation in the fields of agriculture, livestock, and food security.

Tel Aviv and Manama began free-trade talks on 20 September, which are primarily aimed at removing barriers between the two nations.

“A free trade agreement with Bahrain as part of strengthening broader regional cooperation will strengthen economic relations between the countries, increase the scope of investments, remove trade barriers and create opportunities for entrepreneurs and companies in Israel and Bahrain,” Minister of Economy and Industry of Israel, Orna Barbivai remarked.

In 2021, the UAE and Bahrain accounted for seven percent of Israel’s record arms exports.

The sale of weapons to Arab countries with normalized relations with Tel Aviv shows no sign of diminishing. On 28 March, Israeli media revealed that the UAE, Bahrain, and Morocco had expressed an interest in acquiring Israel’s Iron Dome, Green Pine, and Arrow missile defense systems.

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