Britain and Israel agreed on an “in principle” post-Brexit trade deal at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday afternoon.
International Trade Secretary Liam Fox made the announcement following discussions with Israel’s Minister of the Economy Eli Cohen.
Dr Fox said: “I’m delighted that as Britain prepares to leave the European Union, and to ensure continuity for our businesses in both directions, we’ve reached agreement in principle today with our colleagues in Israel.
“Israel has been one of the most cooperative and productive partners in this relationship, where our trade is already strong and set to go further,” he said, adding that it was a “precursor to an even more ambitious agreement in the future”.
Mr Cohen said in 2018 the value of trade between the two countries had, for the first time, passed the $10bn mark. He added: “This free trade agreement will accelerate, increase and strengthen our economic relationship”.
Mr Fox added that the UK and Israel would hold a trade and investment conference in London “in the coming months”.
BREAKING News from @Davos: 🇬🇧 and 🇮🇱 have agreed in principle a UK-Israel agreement. Here is the video of Eli Cohen (Israel’s Minister of the Economy) and I making the announcement at @wef. @netanyahu #FreeTradeIsGREAT #FreeTrade #WEF2019 #wef #wef19 pic.twitter.com/odbZtWr4Uo— Dr Liam Fox MP (@LiamFox) January 23, 2019
UK-Israel trade surged by 75 per cent surged in the first half 2018. Israeli exports totalled $3.45 billion (£2.62 billion) between January and June 2018, up from $1.97 billion in the first half of 2017, Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics reported last September.