Jordanian traders hail reopening of borders with Syria to boost economy | Business | Ammon News

Jordanian traders hail reopening of borders with Syria to boost economy

[10/21/2018 5:37:20 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Representatives of Jordanian industries and economic sectors said that the reopening of the border crossing will boost economic growth and revive their businesses to and via Syria.

Last week's reopening of the Jaber border crossing with Syria is expected to lead to an increase in trade exchange between Jordan and Syria, traders and experts said.

Before the outbreak of the unrest in Syria in 2011, trade exchange between Jordan and Syria exceeded 900 million U.S. dollars and more than 5,000 Jordanian trucks operated to Syria and via Syria to other markets including Lebanon, Turkey and east European countries.

The closure of the border crossing due to security conditions in 2005 resulted in a complete halt and serious economic losses.

However, the reopening of the border crossing last week is reviving hope among traders of better cooperation and improvement in business ties.

"The reopening of the borders is good news. It will take some time before we actually see resumption in trade exchange," said Wajdi Makhamreh, an economist specialized in Middle East investment.

"Syria is a big market for Jordanian industries, products and fruits and vegetables, and several economic sectors are upbeat about the reopening of the borders," he said.

Jordan's fruits and vegetables exports exceeded 200,000 metric tonnes per year before 2011.

Jordan also used to export more than 60,000 metric tonnes of fruits and vegetables to Russia, east European countries and Turkey via Syria before 2011, Zuhair Jweihan, vice president of the Jordan Exporters and Producers Society for Fruits and Vegetables, told Xinhua.

"It is too early to judge but farmers are optimistic. It needs sometime, but certainly this is a positive step," he said.

In Jordan, the trucks fleet used to consist of 17,000 trucks. However, many drivers went out of business after the border crossing was closed.

"Our losses in the sector exceeded one billion U.S. dollars after the borders with Syria and Iraq were closed. We are hopeful and it is a matter of time," said Mohammad Dawoud, president of the Jordan Truck Owners Association.

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