Cooperation with the countries of the Middle East

The main countries we cooperate with in the Middle East are Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Its geographic proximity to Europe as well as its particular exposure to the effects of climate change on agricultural production highlight the significant role of the Middle East region. Scarcity of resources such as water require close cooperation in the field of research and the exchange of best practices.

In many countries of the region, agricultural goods and food make up a large share of imports. For the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, this share is estimated at 90%. Food and nutrition security is therefore a major political priority for these countries. In the light of the above, the export-orientated German agri-food industry is the ideal partner.

Cooperation with countries in this region focuses on trading partnerships, related issues of consumer health protection and food safety as well as on agricultural research, particularly in the context of climate-induced changes and adaptation strategies.

Israel has developed from a country that used to be largely agricultural to a centre of industry and services. It has outstanding expertise in agriculture as well as in the irrigation of arid and semi-arid land. Israel’s strong research environment and its start-up companies make it one of the most innovative countries in the world. Agricultural research is therefore an integral part of our bilateral cooperation, based on a bilateral intergovernmental agreement concluded in 2012. Our trading relations are founded on the association and agriculture agreement between Israel and the European Union.

Due to their natural conditions and purchasing power, several other Middle Eastern countries – including the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia – have traditionally been importers of agricultural products, making them attractive sales markets for the German
agri-food industry.

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