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Israel, Bahrain and the UAE: Strategies for the Pandemic

Webinar_Israel, Bahrain, UAE, Strategies

Israel, Bahrain and the UAE: Strategies for the Pandemic


On 1 February 2021, EGIC had the pleasure to host an Information Session titled: “Israel, Bahrain and the UAE: Strategies for the Pandemic” with Jonathan Pacifici, a venture capitalist, entrepreneur, community leader and board member of several start-ups, namely Chairman of Jewish Economic Forum, General Partner of Sixth Millennium Venture Partners and Wadi Ventures. The event was moderated by EGIC’s Institutional Advisor, Piercamillo Falasca, with contributions from Matthew Robinson (the EGIC Managing Director). 


With nearly a third of its 9 million-person population vaccinated by 31 January, and plans to have the entire population vaccinated by the end of March, Israel was miles ahead of most Western countries. Other global leaders in the number of administered COVID-19 vaccinations were the two Arab Gulf countries that established relations with Israel in 2020—the United Arab Emirates (2nd) and Bahrain (4th). Jonathan provided the audience with insights into the reasons behind Israel’s swift vaccine rollout, and whether there is a correlation with the successful vaccine administration in the two Arab Gulf countries and why the European Union was so slow in comparison. In his speech, he drew on the conclusions of his recently published Italian-language book Gli unicorni non prendono il Corona: Viaggio tra le startup israeliane nell'economia che ha sconfitto il virus (Unicorns Don't Take the Crown: Journey among Israeli startups in the economy that defeated the virus), looking at Israel’s unique case, its technological superiority and why its “unicorns” (private start-up companies valued at more than 1 billion USD) did not suffer from the negative economic impact of COVID-19. Discussing the clustering of economies in the region, the future opportunities for Israel-Gulf cooperation, particularly in technology, and how it will impact the region, Jonathan highlighted that those countries have more in common than is often assumed. With regard to a possible change in the new US Administration’s approach, he argued that there is now a sufficient level of established relations and political capital for Israel and its Arab partners to be able to solve problems more independently.

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