The UK wants a new free trade agreement with Israel to include services in technology, digital and data, international trade secretary Liz Truss said yesterday.
Truss met with her Israeli counterpart, Tzipi Hotovely yesterday to talk about the UK-Israel £5bn trading relationship.
Having signed a continuity FTA with Israel earlier this year, Truss tweeted yesterday that the UK wants “to go further in a new free trade agreement in areas including tech, digital and data”.
Israel has a population of 9.3 million but it is one of the Middle East’s biggest economies.
According to government figures, trade between the two countries was worth £4.9bn in 2020, making it the UK’s 41st largest trading partner.
UK exports to Israel were worth £2.9bn in 2020, including power generators, pharmaceuticals, cars, mineral products and clothing.
WTO action on services urged
Service were also the focus for the UK’s World Trade Organization representative in his address to the WTO Heads of Delegation earlier this week.
The UK’s Permanent Representative in Geneva, Simon Manley, addressed the WTO for the first time earlier this week, pointing out that a big challenge for the WTO was to catch up with the “extraordinary innovation” in services, in digital trade and in data.
He called for progress on a joint statement initiative (JSI) on ecommerce and for the WTO to “tackle this digital divide by levelling up, not just domestically, but internationally too”.
Eilat-Eilot Renewable Energy Conference 2011; British Embassy in Israel