Bahrain wants to work more closely with Israel on technology that will help it manage water and cope with climate change, as part of a larger expansion in bilateral relations, its Ambassador to Israel said on Thursday.
Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) reached an agreement in September 2020 to establish diplomatic links with Israel under the Abraham Accords, which were negotiated by the US. Sudan and Morocco followed suit, and negotiations with Saudi Arabia are underway.
So far, the UAE has benefited most, with Israelis flocking to Dubai and bilateral trade between Israel and the UAE surpassing $2.5 billion in 2022 and reaching $1.85 billion in the first seven months of 2023.
Trade with Bahrain was just $8.5 million in the same seven months.
“It’s not going to happen overnight,” Khaled Yousef Al-Jalahma, the Ambassador of Bahrain to Israel, said at a Startup Nation Central conference in Tel Aviv to mark three years of the accords. He added some people have issues with coming to Israel while Israelis often look at Dubai and Abu Dhabi ahead of Bahrain.
At the same time, 600 Israeli and Bahrani companies recently connected to discuss mutual areas of interest. There is also a project to employ Bahraini workers to help alleviate a job shortage in Israel’s tech sector due to its rapid growth.