What is happening between Israel and the United Arab Emirates? Is the U.S. part of the negotiations? What has led to the trade deals that are being formalized? This is a massive and historically relevant deal that’s been overshadowed by the coronavirus. Dr. Shira Mor shares a boots on the ground perspective of what’s happening in Tel Aviv. Get the inside scoop on the trade negotiations in this episode of Negotiations Ninja.
Dr. Shira Mor is an Israeli-American who graduated from the Columbia Business School in 2013 with a Ph.D. in Management. She has worked with executives and start-ups to obtain funding. She negotiated with a European central bank in 2014. She is an organizational consultant, lecturer, content writing specialist, and an expert in multi-cultural negotiations. She brings unique expertise and perspective to this episode. Don’t miss it!
NOTE: The United Arab Emirates will be referred to as UAE, Emirates, and the Union throughout the episode.
Outline of This Episode
- [1:52] Dr. Shira Moor’s background in negotiation
- [4:27] Why is this trade deal monumental?
- [6:39] How did the first deal happen
- [8:10] Capitalism breaks down barriers
- [9:45] The cultural similarities between the nations
- [12:30] North American negotiations with the Emirates
- [18:17] The key differences to overcome
- [20:40] What can the formalized process be attributed to
- [22:26] What’s the next thing on the horizon
- [25:42] How to develop relationships with people in the UAE
- [28:51] How to connect with Dr. Shira Mor
The monumental trade deal that should be taking the world by storm
Historically, Israel has faced a lot of political challenges. It’s surrounded by countries that it doesn’t have peace relations with. So any form of trade relations with the Arab world is ground-breaking. It’s expanding the opportunities for business exchange in the region. Unfortunately, it’s been overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic. Most people have seen very little news coverage of this groundbreaking trade negotiation.
In October of 2019, Shira flew to Abu Dhabi using her American passport. It was a scary journey. The nature of the relationship was not formalized or clear. She didn’t know if it was safe for her to be there. One year ago—as a Jewish person—she would never have been able to talk about being there.
The formalization of trade deals is a huge hallmark for recognizing the state of Israel as a state. It is a bold move in terms of what the Emirates is doing right now. Historically speaking, this shouldn’t have happened—but it is. So what brought about this shift towards amicable trade?
What led to the first trade agreement
Shira points out that there has been a prolific Jewish population in the Emirates for years who, for obvious reasons, have kept a low-profile. It’s the informal business negotiations happening in the background that Shira believes eventually led to Israel and the Emirate representative to begin negotiations.
The UAE wants to connect with and be on par with all technological developments of the Western world. Israel brings a lot of technological advances to the table. One of the first deals that was struck had to do with the Weizmann Institute, a leading cancer research organization. These deals are meant to facilitate knowledge exchange and technology development for the United Arab Emirates and Israel.
While trade deals are slowly developing, it is a strong step toward peace that has been sought after for generations.
The ability of capitalism to break down barriers
If you want your citizens to become wealthy, you have to break down barriers and start to play nice. Dubai is a tech-forward city. Israel has been a start-up leader for years. They’re progressing quickly. Naturally, geographically speaking, it makes sense to work with your closest neighbor and foster partnerships and relationships.
Shira points out that there was a lot of business happening between Israel and the Emirates before the formalized peace, but it was kept hush-hush. It’s like someone formalizing their engagement by getting married. They decided to formalize their relationship, and now it’s public for the world to see.
What are the cultural similarities between the nations? What are the differences? How should a North American come to Middle Eastern negotiations?
What can the formalized process be attributed to
Shira doesn’t believe that the formalized trade deals can be attributed to any one person. It was definitely a grass-roots movement from the ground up. There haven’t been political dealings on a formal level that she knows of. News sources are highlighting the business transactions that are moving forward. From Shira’s understanding, businesses have led this to be formalized. She cannot say that she heard about anything from a political side. How ironic that many nations have been pushing for peace in Israel, yet it’s business people from within the nations themselves that are finally making it happen.
What’s the next thing on the horizon
Firstly, Israeli startups are funded by American Hedge Funds. The US will benefit from these transactions—thus becoming a third-party adjunct to this agreement. Entrepreneurs are looking for investors, and the U.S. is a source of capital. But just like China entered the North American market, what will be the impact? What are the guidelines for religious issues or cultural issues? Companies have different perspectives, so it will be interesting to follow.
No one ever imagined this could actually happen. There’s a lot of potential. But Shira says to slowly create relationships and be cautious. She hopes that this will be a new path to peace. It doesn’t make sense to be at war with the people you’re trading with.
How do you develop relationships with business counterparts in Arab countries? What could the negotiation process look like? Dr. Shira Mor shares some amazing advice and strategies in this episode. Make sure you listen!
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