Israeli business delegation visit to Abu Dhabi deepens cross-market trade, investment relations
ABU DHABI, 19th October, 2021 – The largest Israeli business mission to Abu Dhabi has concluded a two-day visit to the emirate, as part of the wider Beyond Business 2 delegation to the UAE hosted by Israel Export Institute (IEI) and Bank Hapoalim, in cooperation with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO).
From 17th-18th October, 250 business people and entrepreneurs from Israel toured the UAE capital and met senior stakeholders from across the innovation ecosystem.
The commercial engagement showcased Abu Dhabi’s vast market potential and capabilities as a springboard for Israeli businesses to reach the wider region.
Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), said, “Abu Dhabi and Israel are aligned on using innovation to advance the region and finding opportunities to share ideas and work together towards this common goal.
Over the last two days, we have witnessed a determination to further cooperation between our two markets.
Across innovation-focused sectors such as financial services, energy and healthcare, Abu Dhabi has the resources, infrastructure and opportunities to support the ambition of Israeli companies looking to grow in the region and beyond.
He continued, “ADIO has been instrumental in connecting the two markets since the Abraham Accords were signed.
Through ADIO’s office in Israel, we are doubling down on support for Israeli companies, acting as a bridge to facilitate mutually beneficial opportunities.
Dov Kotler, CEO of Bank Hapoalim, said, “The Bank is happy to continue being a trailblazer into new markets for its customers.
Bank Hapoalim has adopted a strategy of leading into Gulf countries, and the current delegation will be groundbreaking in forming connections with Abu Dhabi – which is known to be one of the most important global centres in finance, trade and high-tech.
Adiv Baruch, Chair of IEI, said, “The business delegation heading to the UAE one year after the Abraham Accords is another step in the countries’ shared activity.
The agreement has opened up a new door and the economy is changing the landscape, forming a diplomatic infrastructure to strengthen the relationship.
The Israel Export Institute is happy to lead, together with the Foreign Trade Administration at the Ministry of Economy, a wide range of business opportunities for Israeli industry.
I call upon Israeli companies to take part in the events that without a doubt constitute an exceptional opportunity for Israeli industry.
The visit commenced with a business forum attended by distinguished government and industry leaders from Abu Dhabi and Israel.
Speakers included Dr.
Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade; Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa, Chairman of ADDED; Abdullah M.
Al Mazrui, Chairman of the UAE Chambers; Ruben Krupik, Chairman of Bank Hapoalim; Adiv Baruch, Chair of IEI; and Amir Hayek, Israel’s Ambassador to the UAE.
Industry stalwarts from the financial services, energy, healthcare and technology sectors joined the forum in a series of fireside chats that provided insight into the opportunities for Israeli businesses in Abu Dhabi.
The second day of the business mission delved deeper into high-growth sectors, with the delegation visiting key Abu Dhabi business enablers to learn more about the sector-specific investment opportunities and support available.
The Israeli companies and investors were hosted by senior executives from the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA), Abu Dhabi Global Market, AD Ports Group, Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, KIZAD, Masdar and ZonesCorp, as part of visits organised by ADIO.
The tours provided the delegation with practical insights to doing business in Abu Dhabi, while strengthening networks between Israeli companies and Abu Dhabi entities established to facilitate business entry and growth in the emirate.
Saeed Al Bahri Salem Al Ameri, Director-General of ADAFSA, stated, “I was honoured to be part of this important gathering, where we all were looking towards strengthening our strategic partnership and discussing the ways to boost collaboration and create new investment opportunities for the benefit of our two countries.
As part of its commitment to build strategic partnerships, ADAFSA seeks to promote investment opportunities in agriculture, livestock, food safety and food security.
As we collaborate with stakeholders and strengthen sustainable partnerships in Abu Dhabi, we aim to improve food security and advance the agricultural sector.
Al Ameri continued, “We aimed to use this meeting to share our expertise in our area of focus.
We are looking forward to benefiting from the presence of Israeli companies, investors and entities, and their technical progress, in the overall interest of the region, to develop the agricultural sector’s capabilities and achieve self-sufficiency.
Furthermore, we aimed to introduce Israeli companies that are looking to expand their business activities in Abu Dhabi as great market potential and explain the procedures that will help them run their business smoothly.
The meeting served as an opportunity to build effective investment partnerships with companies in Abu Dhabi’s agriculture and food industry, both public and private.
“Therefore, it provided us not only essential knowledge, but also great opportunities to share experiences and build partnerships,” he added.
Abdullah Al Hameli, Head of the Industrial Cities and Free Zone Cluster at AD Ports Group, said, “We welcome the growing business relationship between Israel and the UAE markets, which is credited for creating new areas of trade and investment opportunities.
By providing direct access to ultra-modern infrastructure, robust logistical capabilities and multi-modal transport solutions, AD Ports Group offers a unique opportunity to Israeli businesses to expand cross-market trade across the region and scale their growth.
Through strategic global partnerships, we remain committed to unlocking the full potential of maritime trade and logistics and elevating Abu Dhabi as a premier global trade, maritime, and industrial centre.
Abdulla bin Mohamed Al Hamed, Chairman of the Department of Health, stated that Abu Dhabi and Israel share the same commitment to advancing the healthcare sector, such as investing in a robust healthcare data infrastructure and placing an enviable focus on research and innovation.
Abu Dhabi, an emerging hub for technology and collaboration, offers a conducive environment for international investors as it proactively explores innovation-driven cooperation opportunities.
“We look forward to unifying our expertise and knowledge to drive innovation, bolster medical research and expand the capacity of our healthcare system.
This will lead to the goal of improving the health and safety of communities in our countries and across the world,” he added.
Abdulla Balalaa, Executive Director, Masdar City, said, “The UAE is already showcasing its commitment to growing and developing economic ties with Israel and at Masdar City, we are here to fully support this progress.
Masdar City in Abu Dhabi is the regional hub for the R&D of some of the world’s most innovative sustainable technologies and offers an established business ecosystem, from education and a global network, to a testbed for technologies.
Balalaa explained that the City is already home to over 900 companies and this environment is ideal for Israeli companies to set up their first base of operations in the region, particularly corporates, SMEs and startups active in clean technologies and renewable energy, fourth industrial revolution technologies and others.
Since the signing of the Abraham Accords in 2020, Abu Dhabi and Israel have made significant progress in their commitment to cooperate on innovative, technology-focused pursuits for the common good.
ADIO, as the central government hub enabling investments in Abu Dhabi, has played an important role in facilitating cooperation between the two markets.
It opened its first international office in Tel Aviv earlier this year to increase cooperation with Israeli companies and established formal cooperation through executed Memorandums of Understanding with Israeli entities.