Britain launches free trade talks with Israel

Seeking to expand its trade agreements, UK looks to Israel as a 'modern, high-tech superpower' to join forces 'in a revamped deal' to 'boost trade, support jobs and help take economic relationship to the next level'

Reuters|
Britain on Wednesday launched free trade talks with Israel, aimed at boosting services and tech sector ties as it seeks new trade deals after leaving the European Union.
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  • The current trade deal between the two countries is based on an old EU deal that has no specific provisions on services, Britain said, adding that the trading relationship is currently worth 5 billion pounds ($6 billion) a year.
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    British Trade Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan
    British Trade Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan
    British Trade Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan
    (Photo: Getty Images)
    When it left the EU, Britain signed deals to keep existing trade arrangements in place but later revisited them in search of better terms, including the agreement with Israel.
    "The UK and Israel are both modern, hi-tech services superpowers, but our current trading relationship is based on an agreement from 1995, before smartphones, the internet, and digitally delivered services transformed the global economy," trade minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said.
    "Combining the power of our economies in a revamped trade deal will boost trade, support jobs and help take our economic relationship to the next level."
    Britain said a deal could boost UK service exports by up to 78 million pounds and benefit over 6,000 businesses.
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    Brexit
    Brexit
    Brexit
    (Photo: AFP)
    "Unlike in the past, we can now work with friends and allies like Israel to strike deals that are truly tailored to our strengths in areas like digital trade, services and life sciences," trade minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said earlier this year.
    Talks between the two countries have been taking place for more than a year and trade minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan visited Israel earlier this year to advance the negotiations.
    "Unlike in the past, we can now work with friends and allies like Israel to strike deals that are truly tailored to our strengths in areas like digital trade, services and life sciences," Trevelyan said in advance of her visit.

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