MANAMA, BAHRAIN – JULY 11, 2023 – The N7 Initiative, a partnership between the Atlantic Council and the Jeffrey M. Talpins Foundation, has concluded the N7 Conference on Trade, which was held on July 10-11, 2023, in Manama, Bahrain, with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain. The N7 Initiative seeks to broaden and deepen integration between Israel and Arab and Muslim countries. It works with governments to produce actionable recommendations that will deliver tangible benefits to all the people of the region. 

At the conference, high-level government officials and private sector representatives from Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Morocco, Egypt, Sudan and the United States met and examined the benefits of a multilateral regional free-trade agreement among the N7 countries. 

The conference discussed the tangible benefits this agreement will bring to the people of the region and the ways to move forward to achieve it. 

“The conference has been a great success – our N7 partners showed great interest in having a regional free trade agreement,” notes William F. Wechsler, senior director at the Atlantic Council and of the N7 Initiative. “Bahrain has always been a regional hub for trade and we couldn’t think of a better place to discuss forming a regional free trade agreement than Manama. We thank the Bahraini Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their warm hospitality and support and look forward to keep on working with the N7 countries on this issue.” 

Jeffrey M. Talpins Foundation President Oren Eisner stated: “I see every reason why a future Middle East will be one of stability and prosperity, and one where shared cultures will far outweigh any past differences and conflicts, much like what happened in Europe. Trade is a vital part in bringing about this vision.”  

“This conference is building on the excellent history of trade and commerce that is the backbone of Bahrain and the Middle East. We are learning about the trade priorities from the governments in attendance and helping to facilitate greater trade in the coming years through genuine, deeper multilateral cooperation to create better lives for the people of this great region,” said Ed Husain, the new director of the N7 Initiative.

The N7 Initiative will be producing an extensive report with actionable recommendations following this conference. Our next regional conference will be held in Israel in October. 


For more information on the N7 Conference on Trade, or the N7 Initiative, please contact Austin Slater