THE Israel–UAE normalisation deal will bring “a flood of activity” in business dealings, Australia-based OurCrowd managing partner Dan Bennett says.
The rapprochement announced earlier this month will see the establishment of full diplomatic relations, business and scientific collaborations, trade and tourism between the countries.
Bennett told The AJN a figure being talked about – more than half a billion US dollars of trade in the first 12 months – is “probably reasonably conservative”.
“There’s going to be an absolute gold rush,” he said.
“We’re very fortunate that we’ve already established some extremely deep relationships within the kingdom on all levels, so we’re looking forward to seeing which companies and what technologies are going to be well-served in accessing the region.”
Bennett, who was in Dubai in February for business meetings, said the most interesting thing about the future of the fledgling relationship will be “how broad the basis of cooperation across sectors will be”.
He said cyber security and defence “are going to be the first cab off the rank”, but added there is “a huge slew of areas which the countries will be able to collaborate on”.
“It’s not just about defence or cyber security, but will include cooperation in fin-tech, smart cities, ag-tech, healthcare, clean energy, oil tech and food tech,” he said.
“Israelis are very nimble and agile, good at adjusting the areas of focus that the startup space looks at based on where the greatest value is.
“So I think you’ll probably see with that announcement a flurry of Israeli companies looking at oil efficiency technologies.”
He added, “I think the UAE wants to future-proof itself around some of the upcoming technologies and they know that Israel has been extremely groundbreaking and pioneering.
“There are a number of portfolio companies within our stable which have already been in conversations in the Gulf and I think this is a green light to really accelerate what those relationships can look like.”
Direct and hopefully shorter flights – pending Saudi approval to use its airspace – will be “brilliant for business”, he added.
Israeli-based OurCrowd CEO Jon Medved said, “The amount of calls, emails and Zooms between Israel and the UAE over the last week or so has now gone through the roof.
“A huge amount of unlocked value is ready to be unleashed on the Israeli and UAE investment and tech scenes,” he said.
“This is not about a quick buck or a fast deal, but rather about building an extraordinary long-term win-win relationship between two equals who have so much in common and so much to do together successfully for the future of the region.”