Talks have begun to establish a new trade deal between the UK and Israel, with both governments seeking to upgrade and modernise existing arrangements. The negotiations, launched in London, are set to benefit UK tech firms and the services sector most strongly by boosting UK services exports to Israel by up to £78 million.
The new free trade agreement would expand a trading relationship currently worth £5 billion a year. It could benefit 6,600 UK businesses, including 5,600 small and medium-sized enterprises, employing over 1.7 million people in 2020, who are exporting their goods to Israel by reducing trade barriers.
To launch the talks, the Government have released a strategic approach which outlines their vision for the future deal. Within the document is a stated desire to ensure innovative businesses and public services benefit from “the best of global health innovation” – a sector which both Israel and the UK excel in.
The UK and Israel already have a great trade partnership in the health, with medicinal and pharma products representing the biggest share of imports and exports between the UK and Israel in 2021, worth a combined £468 million.
International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said, “We want a deal that will play to British strengths, while stimulating innovation and increasing opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises across the UK. Combining the power of our economies in a revamped trade deal will boost trade, support jobs and help take our economic relationship to the next level”.