Iraq 'key' trade partner to Jordan-JCC head

04-02-2023 09:45 AM

Ammon News - Chairman of the Jordan Chamber of Commerce (JCC), Khalil Haj Tawfiq said Iraq is an "important" trade partner and gateway for Jordan's economy, which requires building new rules for joint cooperation to reach economic unity.

In remarks to "Petra," Haj Tawfiq said "Jordan and Iraq have wide, prolific potentials, fields and grounds to build economic integration, in light of the strong brotherly relations, political support, strong and sincere desire, and joint agreements signed in the fields of trade, investment, energy, transportation and construction."

Jordanian-Iraqi economic relations have witnessed a "remarkable" development, in light of the joint trade agreements and projects signed between the two countries, he pointed out.

Work is underway to remove all obstacles that impede these ties, he affirmed, stressing the need to expedite implementation of joint projects, especially the oil pipeline and the industrial estate.

He stressed the need to increase joint trade exchange and overcome any obstacles to entry of the two countries' products and commodities to their respective markets and give them preferential status, in addition to stimulating business owners to establish joint trade, investment and industrial partnerships.

Also, he stressed Jordan's keenness to promote the joint "deep-rooted" relations to a "broader" horizon to serve common interests and facilitate trade exchange, agriculture and information technology, as Jordan has "advanced" expertise to be the gateway to Iraq's reconstruction.

Stressing the importance of the Jordanian economic delegation's visit to Baghdad this week, he said trade sector hopes that the current visit to Iraq would contribute to increasing trade exchanges and exploring investment and commercial opportunities.

The delegation is one of the largest economic delegations to visit Baghdad, which reflects volume of Jordan's interest in building "strong" economic relations with Iraq, stressing that the visit is important to follow up on efforts made by His Majesty King Abdullah II and Iraqi leadership at various levels.

Jordan's trade sector is "proud" of the level of bilateral relations in various fields and hopes that the next stage will witness a "new" beginning based on partnership, noting that opportunities for cooperation between the two countries' private sectors are "large".

Haj Tawfiq noted Jordan's trade and service sector values any efforts aimed to strengthen bilateral relations, especially official visits, which feature "serious" efforts to expand joint cooperation horizons at various levels, especially in investment and commercial areas.

He also noted importance of joint expertise, which would contribute to achieving economic integration.

In addition, he pointed to the importance of setting a "clear" vision and priorities that serve the two countries' economies and strike investment partnerships in areas of common interest, noting that official visits allow both sides' business communities to further network.

Hajj Tawfiq, who also heads Amman Chamber of Commerce (ACC), said Jordan's trade and service sector hopes to overcome obstacles impeding efforts to strengthen economic relations during the coming period and build a joint economic unity to make the two countries trade and investment partners.

Next Wednesday, meetings of the joint Jordanian-Iraqi committee are scheduled to kick off in Baghdad to discuss multiple files aimed at strengthening bilateral cooperation in various fields, especially economic areas, according to a JCC statement.

The committee will discuss ways to enhance joint trade, set up investment projects, follow up progress in implementation of economic estate project, as well as cooperation in energy, transport, customs, health, food, trade, and industry fields.

On the sidelines of the committee meetings, a joint business forum will be held to discuss cooperation between the two countries' private sector institutions, business owners and companies.

Jordan and Iraq's trade exchanges increased during the 11 months of 2022 to reach about JD707 million, compared to JD415 million for the same period in 2021, official data showed.

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