(February 19, 2019 / JNS) Israeli Minister of Economy Eli Cohen and United Kingdom Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox signed a free trade agreement between the two countries on Monday ahead of the upcoming United Kingdom split from the European Union.
Great Britain is Israel’s largest European trade partner and third-largest overall. According to the Israeli economy ministry data, the trade turnover between the two nations in 2018 was around $11 billion—a 15 percent increase from the previous year.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated Fox on the signing of the trade agreement, and said that Israel views it with great importance and that the United Kingdom “is an important friend of Israel and noted that the agreement reflects that. He said that it was good for both parties,” according to a statement from the prime minister’s office.
Great Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union, a move known as Brexit, on March 29. Ahead of the move, the United Kingdom has been signing new trade deals.
Earlier this month, agreements were signed with Switzerland, the Faroe Islands and Lichtenstein. Deals were signed last month with Chile, and countries in Eastern and Southern Africa.
The United Kingdom has also signed free-trade accords with United States, Australia and New Zealand.