(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) DP World and Dubai Customs will be exploring opportunities to develop trade links between Israel and the UAE following the signing of a series of memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with a leading Israeli group.
The Dubai-based DP World will join Israel''s DoverTower to bid for one of Israel''s two main ports and to examine opening a direct shipping line between the two Middle East states. They signed a series of agreements including a joint bid in the privatisation of Haifa Port on the Mediterranean, one of Israel''s two main sea terminals.
Group Chairman and CEO of DP World Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem signed MoUs with DoverTower, a company owned by Shlomi Fogel, the co-owner of Israel Shipyards and Port of Eilat.
Bin Sulayem said the MoUs will contribute to the efforts to tap economic and trade cooperation opportunities, and facilitate development-oriented linkages between the two countries.
"DP World''s mission is to enable global trade - our work to build trade routes between the UAE, Israel and beyond will help our customers to do business in the region more easily and efficiently," he said.
The announcement came a day after Israel and the United Arab Emirates signed an historic agree-ment to normalise ties, and marks a big development in trade and economic collaboration.
"Israel has two ports, the port of Ashdod and the port of Haifa. They are strong ports in excellent locations. If there is an opportunity, there is nothing to prevent us from having a presence there," Bin Sulayem told Arabiya TV.
"Our work to build trade routes between the UAE, Israel and beyond will help our customers to do business in the region more easily and efficiently," he said.
Direct shipping lines
DP World and DoverTower said they will also examine opening a direct shipping line between the Red Sea port of Eilat and Jebel Ali, the Middle East''s largest transshipment hub.
Haifa Port will need to be upgraded to compete with a modern one being built in the area by China''s Shanghai International Port Group.
Israel Shipyards and Dubai''s Drydocks World will also examine partnering in producing and marketing products in Dubai.
Shlomi Fogel said DP World will collaborate with Israel Shipyards on the joint venture that will participate in the tender for the Haifa privatisation.
"DP World and Israel Shipyards will collaborate to establish a joint venture that will participate in the tender for privatisation of the Port of Haifa," he said.
Israel is selling its state-owned ports and building new private docks in an effort to encourage competition and bring down costs.
"I believe that this agreement is just the beginning of mutual and long collaboration and more agreements will follow between DP World and DoverTower across different industries," Fogel added. -
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