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‘Jordan might serve as a hub for Indonesian goods in the Middle East’

By JT - Feb 10,2019 - Last updated at Feb 10,2019

A delegation of Indonesian members of parliament visits the Lower House on Thursday, where they discussed with their Jordanian counterparts means to enhance bilateral relations (Photo courtesy of the Indonesian embassy in Amman)

AMMAN — A delegation of Indonesian members of parliament paid a visit to the Lower House last Thursday, where they discussed with their Jordanian counterparts means to enhance bilateral relations.

The 16 members of Indonesian legislators, led by the chairman for Commission I, Abdul Kharis Almasyhari, met with the chair of Lower House’s Foreign Relations Committee, Nidal Taani, and discussed various topics of mutual interest, including the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, a preferential tariffs agreement (PTA), migrant protection and visa regulations, a statement from the Indonesian embassy in Amman said. 

Indonesian Ambassador to Jordan Andy Rachmianto and the Indonesian honorary consul in Ramallah, Maha Abu Shusheh, also attended the meeting, according to the statement. 

Almasyhari stressed his country’s commitment to further advance parliamentary cooperation with Jordan to the next level.

To promote trade between the two countries, the Indonesian legislator explained that his country’s government had continuously been encouraged to expedite the process of establishing a PTA with Jordan. “Both sides agreed about the potential increase of the trade volume. Therefore, the establishment of an Indonesian-Jordanian PTA was deemed necessary to allow greater trade between the two countries in the future.”  

“In 2018, the Indonesia-Jordan trade volume recorded more than $282 million with an increase of 5 per cent from last year. In 2012, the two countries enjoyed around $500 million, annually, before the deteriorating situation in the region. Considering the strategic location of Jordan and its security compare with other states in the region, the Indonesian delegation shared ideas for Jordan to serve as hub for Indonesian goods in the Middle East,” the statement said.

The two sides also discussed ways to enhance people-to-people contact, particularly with regard to visa policy. Jordan is among 169 countries receiving a free 30-day visa to Indonesia upon arrival. “Unfortunately, this policy had not been responded reciprocally by the Jordanian government for Indonesian passport holders.” 

Taani pledged to encourage the Ministry of Interior to provide a similar free-visa policy for Indonesian passport holders entering Jordan, according to the statement. 

“In 2018, according to the Central Bank of Jordan, the number of Indonesian tourists visiting Jordan reached around 45,000 people, placing Indonesians as the fourth-largest group of non-Arab tourists visiting Jordan, after the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom.” In comparison, only 6,000 Jordanian tourists visited Indonesia in 2018, the statement said.

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