Israel and Bahrain on Tuesday announced the start of negotiations to reach a free trade agreement between the two countries, Anadolu News Agency reports.
Israeli Economy Minister, Orna Barbivai, held official talks on Monday with her Bahraini counterpart to establish a free trade agreement between Tel Aviv and Manama, the Israeli Economy Ministry said in a statement.
Barbivai said the agreement will help strengthen bilateral relations and help "remove barriers, expand economic cooperation and build further bridges between the two countries."
According to the statement, trade exchange between Israel and Bahrain boomed to $7.5 million in 2021, with Israeli exports to Bahrain totaling $4 million in the fields of precious metals, chemical industry products, and electric engineering machines, while Israeli imports from Bahrain were estimated at $3.5 million.
Bahrain was among the four Arab countries that signed US-sponsored agreements to normalise their relations with Israel in 2020. The other countries were the United Arab Emirates, Sudan and Morocco.