Jonathan Simmons
Jonathan Simmons
Hope over hate. Trade with Israel & Palestine

UK seeks improved trade agreement with Israel

Courtesy of Levi Meir Clancy via Unsplash

The UK wants a new free trade agreement with Israel to include services in technology, digital and data, international trade secretary for the UK, Liz Truss said yesterday.

Courtesy of Levi Meir Clancy via Unsplash

Truss met with her Israeli counterpart, Tzipi Hotovely yesterday to talk about the UK-Israel £5bn trading relationship.

Having signed a continuity FTA with Israel earlier this year, Truss send a tweet in May that the UK wants “to go further in a new free trade agreement in areas including tech, digital and data”.

Israel’s total population of 9.3 million is smaller than the size of Greater London, even so Israel’s advancement in providing technological solutions to the world is one is no secret to UK businessmen.

According to UK government figures, trade between the two countries was worth £4.9bn in 2020, making Israel UK’s 41st largest trading partner.

UK exports to Israel were worth £2.9bn in 2020, including power generators, pharmaceuticals, cars, mineral products and clothing.

WTO action on services urged

Services were also the focus for the UK’s World Trade Organisation representative in his address to the WTO Heads of Delegation earlier this week.

The UK’s Permanent Representative in Geneva, Simon Manley, addressed the WTO for the first time earlier in May, pointing out that a big challenge for the WTO was to catch up with the “extraordinary innovation” in services, in digital trade and in data.

Time will tell how the Israel and UK will develop at the same exciting rate, even in post-Brexit Britain.

By Jon Simmons, Director of israelinvestment.org and author of Partnering for Palestinian Prosperity

Acknowledgements, and further reading;

> Israeli Founded Companies Stock Tracker – Updated for Summer 2021

> Israeli Real Estate,  and the Israeli Real Estate Lawyers

> Good Night 2020, by Ariella Dreyfuss, Times of Israel.

> Hopes raised for more UK trade with Israel in technology, digital and data services by Noelle McElhatton

About the Author
Jon is the director of israelinvestment.org, and co-founded of I61collective, a movement in the UK that facilitates grassroots creative projects in Israel and the West Bank. In the spring Jon supported the opening of the International Prayer Room in Bethlehem. The aim is to encourage Westerners visiting Israel to spend time in the West Bank, and find creative space for sanctuary. During the spring tour, Jon met with Palestinian businessmen and women in the West Bank, to try to understand what they need from Western consumers and businesses to help them and other Palestinians build a financially independent and prosperous future. This inspired Jon to write the series of articles called Partnering for Palestinian Prosperity. The aim of the series is to demonstrate that under very challenging circumstances, Palestinians have persevered to build businesses and viable ventures that are worthy of active encouragement and investment from the West. In 2018, Jon co-lead a group of international and local musicians as part of Music on The Wind tour, performing live to communities on ‘both sides’ of Israel and Palestine. The aim was to invest in the people through the healing and restoration power of live music, regardless of their background. Jon is passionate about the power of using business to bring cohesion between Israel and the Palestinian Territories.
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