NEWS

Britain and Israel Building New Strategic Partnership

January 21, 2020
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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left) with PM Netanyahu

Tuesday, 21 January 2020 | What happened: British trade with Israel is booming and bilateral relations are expanding in defense, science, tech, business and cybersecurity in what amounts to a new strategic partnership between the two countries, according to BICOM’s new report Britain and Israel: The new strategic partnership published today. The report is a major study of bilateral relations with chapters on trade, foreign affairs and defense, education and science, UK public attitudes to Israel and culture.

  • UK Ambassador to Israel, Neil Wigan, said: “I have seen the vast potential for UK–Israeli collaborations. Our two countries complement each other’s strengths. There is potential to do even more, including after Brexit. High tech collaboration is thriving, to the benefit of both sides. We are ambitious about scientific and academic collaboration, where current work highlights untapped potential. The security relationship has grown exponentially since I was last here in 2006. The visit of HRH [His Royal Highness] Prince Charles highlights the depth of our connection. 2020 and beyond looks bright for the bilateral relationship.”
  • Israeli Ambassador to the UK, Mark Regev, said: “In these past 70 years of full formal Israel–UK diplomatic relations, the progress we have made is remarkable. We are partners whose shared prosperity and security is built on our common values of democracy, liberty and the rule of law, and the visit of His Royal Highness is but the latest cause for us to celebrate all we have achieved together.”

Context: Bilateral trade was worth [US] $10.5 billion in 2018, an increase of 72% since 2012 and British exports to Israel increased by 132% in the same period.

  • The increase in British exports to Israel was largely driven by a 14,000% increase in oil exports worth [US] $3.8 billion in 2018. Israeli exports to the UK were worth [US] $4.34 billion in 2018, an increase of 21% since 2012. The increase in Israeli exports to the UK was largely driven by a 52% increase in pharmaceutical products worth [US] $2.8 billion in 2018. The UK is Israel’s third largest export market, behind the US and China.
  • UK–Israel commercial cooperation in cyber is growing stronger. Israeli cyber security experts play an important role maintaining London’s status as a safe and secure global financial center. The UK–Israel Tech Hub generated 175 partnerships worth £85 million [US $110 million] between 2012–2018.

Looking ahead: Bilateral relations will get an extra boost this week when HRH Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, embarks on his first ever official visit to Israel. Prince Charles will be in Israel from January 22–24, where he will attend the Fifth World Holocaust Forum at Yad Vashem to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz–Birkenau. He will meet Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and also travel to the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] to meet with PA President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem.

Posted on January 21, 2020

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published by BICOM on January 21, 2020. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Foreign and Commonwealth Office/wikimedia.org

Photo License: wikimedia.org