Trade Secretary of UK Visits Jerusalem to Increase Benefit for Both Economies

In recent news, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the British International Trade Secretary, visited the State of Israel for the first time. While giving an interview in Jerusalem about her visit, she talked about how her arrival in the Jewish state is an opportunity for the two countries. The primary reason for the visit of the Trade Secretary is to start off talks related to an expanded and amended free trade agreement (FTA) between Israel and the UK. Trevelyan made it clear that she believes there is untapped potential in the business ties of the two countries. The UK Trade Secretary will be staying in the Jewish state for a total of three days. 

She began her trip by having a meeting with Orna Barbivay, her counterpart from Israel. Orit Farkash-Hacohen, the Science and Technology Minister from Israel was also present at the meeting. As of now, the UK is the third-largest trading partner of the Jewish state. The trade relationship between the two countries generates nearly NIS 21 billion every year. Back in the year 2019, the two countries first signed an FTA together, which was primarily due to the decision made by Britain to leave the European Union. Consequently, the departure of the UK went into effect on the 1st of January of that year. The current agreement between the two countries is based mainly on the 1995 agreement that Israel had with the EU. 

This agreement does not consider the tech sector of Israel, as well as various others. Trevelyan said that she is looking forward to making changes to the current agreement and improving it. She stated that she is hoping to develop a broader and deeper FTA, which would bring in various services in the digital space. According to the Trade Secretary, special attention will be paid to new areas that both the countries excel in. She wants to focus on improving areas that the economies of Israel and the UK can benefit from. In her words, the FTA is a small part of a larger strategic commitment that the Prime Minister of the UK wants to initiate. 

Trevelyan expressed happiness at the fact that the leader of the country was encouraging the relevant personnel to open new doors. The Prime Minister of the UK, Boris Johnson, along with Liz Truss, the Foreign Secretary, are quite motivated to deepen their ties with the Jewish state. On Wednesday, Trevelyan took to Twitter to ask for input from several businesses, as well as the public related to the new FTA. The Minister stated that she is hoping to cut down on market barriers for UK businesses and help them work harmoniously with their counterparts from Israel. In her opinion, the more businesses that get involved, the greater will be the number of areas that can be improved. 

Trevelyan further asserted that her preferred timeline for the FTA agreement is a year. She hopes to have the two countries sign the new agreement before the year is out. In addition, she is the most excited about the upcoming Innovation Summit of the UK and Israel, which is expected to be held in London in the spring. 

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