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Israel-UAE peace deal 'big' for trade in Middle East

Israel's peace deals with the UAE and Bahrain are "going to be big" for business and trade in the region, one of the most influential businessmen in the Middle East has told the BBC.

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, the chairman and CEO of Dubai-based DP World, says they will remove barriers to business links previously "not allowed", by shortening trade routes and making it easier to deal with Europe.

Israeli estimates suggest trade with the UAE could eventually total $4bn a year , creating 15,000 jobs.

Mr bin Sulayem agrees it would be mutually beneficial: "We need something from Israel, they need something from us".

Many exports are likely to be technology based, including cyber-security, as well as the latest innovations in medicine and agriculture.

Trade is also likely to grow to include more physical goods with many Asian exports flowing through Dubai.

This week, the MSC Paris became one of the first cargo ships to make the voyage between the two countries, and Israel's parliament formally approved the treaty with the United Arab Emirates.

Israeli's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the shipment of electronics, cleaning supplies, iron and firefighting equipment the " beginning of something huge ".

DP World is the world's biggest ports operator and is working with Israel's DoverTower to expand its presence in the country. Israel is looking to upgrade port facilities at Ashdod and Haifa that are crucial to its economy.

It is this ambition to broaden its presence that Mr bin Sulayem says has helped his company outperform the rest of the cargo industry during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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