The group’s establishment was first announced in February by Prime Minister Theresa May and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during their first official meeting in London.
The purpose of the trade policy group is to strengthen trade and investment relationship between the UK and Israel, and ministers are expected to debate the global trade environment and the future of UK-Israel trade. The meeting will also discuss working towards ensuring a smooth transition to the bilateral trading relationship as the UK leaves the European Union.
International Trade Minister Lord Price praised Israeli innovation, in a statement today: “From the cherry tomato to new global calling technology Viber, Israeli inventions and produce have been welcomed by UK consumers for many years”.
He added: “Our new working group will look to continue the progress we have seen in our burgeoning trade and investment relationship. We will work together to maximise future trade opportunities and ensure a smooth transition as we leave the EU, to keep the UK-Israel trading relationship thriving”.
In 2015, UK-Israel trade stood at $7.5 billion (£6 billion). The UK is Israel’s second largest trading partner and primary location for European investment, with over 300 Israeli companies active in the UK and over 30 British companies in Israel. 28 Israeli companies have opened in the UK since April 2016.
Eli Cohen, Minister of Economy and Industry, said: “As the UK is Israel’s first export destination in Europe, we see high importance in keeping and enhancing our trade relations when the UK ceases to be a member of the European Union”.
He continued: “We should make sure that the business communities in both countries will be able to continue trading with each other by providing them the necessary trade platforms”.