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Israel to open economic office in Abu Dhabi to boost Gulf investment

JERUSALEM, June 1 (Reuters) - Israel plans to open an economic attache office in Abu Dhabi this summer to attract foreign investment and boost economic relations with Gulf states and the broader Arab world, the Economy Ministry said on Tuesday.

This follows a U.S.-brokered normalisation of ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last September that has led to a number of bilateral banking deals and direct flights between the two countries.

On Monday, an Emirati embassy opened in Tel Aviv while Israel’s Finance Ministry said Israel and the United Arab Emirates signed a tax treaty to spur business development between the countries.

Economy Minister Amir Peretz said he saw “enormous economic potential” in strengthening Israeli-Emirati relations.

“Opening the economic attache office will give a significant boost to the various initiatives already underway,” Peretz added.

Israel’s Foreign Trade Administration (FTA), a part of the Economy Ministry, operates in more than 50 business centers around the world. It opened a branch in Manila last year.

Aviad Tamir will be the economic attache in the UAE, the ministry said.

The FTA last year identified significant economic potential for Israel’s economy from relations with the UAE, including strengthening aviation ties between Israel and the Gulf, oil imports, energy solutions, diamond exports, exports of medical equipment water technologies, and exports of financial and cyber security technologies.

The new branches in the UAE “will yield significant returns in light of the great interest arising from Emirates interested in a long line of Israeli technologies as well as in light of the large capital in the UAE that may be translated into significant investments in Israeli economy and industry,” said FTA director Ohad Cohen.

Israel has also recently normalised relations with Bahrain. (Reporting by Steven Scheer Additional reporting by Maayan Lubell Editing by Christina Fincher)

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