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Investment forum discusses measures to expand Jordan-Morocco economic relations

By JT - Jan 14,2020 - Last updated at Jan 14,2020

President of the Jordanian Businessmen Association Hamdi Tabaa and President of the General Union for Moroccan Contracting Muhammad Bashiri sign an agreement to establish the Joint Jordanian-Moroccan Business Council on Monday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — The Jordanian-Moroccan Investment Forum on Monday discussed expanding commercial and investment partnerships as well as major challenges facing bilateral trade.

The forum, held in Amman, witnessed the signing of an agreement to establish the Joint Jordanian-Moroccan Business Council, which was signed by the President of the Jordanian Businessmen Association Hamdi Tabaa and President of the General Union for Moroccan Contracting Muhammad Bashiri.

It also saw bilateral work meetings on the two countries’ investment fields and the presentation of opportunities in the sectors of transport, tourism, information technology, renewable energy and healthcare, among others, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

Business owners expressed hopes that the coming season will see a boost in commercial and investment relations, with partnerships established through the support of the two countries’ leaderships and based on the deep-rooted ties dating back over six decades.

They also discussed various challenges facing economic relations, foremost among them difficulties in the transport sector and the issues of transit visas and restrictions imposed on exports and imports.

According to official data, the volume of trade exchange between the two countries reached $32 million in 2017, dropping to $31 million in 2018 and totalling around $20 million during the first nine months of 2019.

The agricultural produce, paper, textiles and chemical industries are the top Jordanian exports to the Moroccan market, while imports are concentrated in food, beverages and textile materials.

During Monday’s discussions, Tabaa stressed the need for business owners of both nations to establish long-term investment partnerships.

He noted that the level of bilateral investment cooperation has not yet reached the two countries’ ambitions or potential, stressing the importance of supporting and developing mutual investments in various productive and service sectors.

Head of the Association of Banks in Jordan Hani Qadi, in his remarks, also called for raising the level of trade exchange between the two countries, as well as diversifying exchanged goods and products.

He pointed out that Morocco can benefit from Jordanian experience in the health, banking, renewable energy, education, vocational training, communications and information technology sectors.

Qadi noted that cancelling visa procedures between Jordan and Morocco altogether will help encourage the exchange of tourist and medical visits, trade delegations and business owners, stressing that this move will strengthen and develop the two countries' economic relations in a faster timeframe.

During the talks, Bashiri pointed out that his country's delegation represents various economic sectors, including banking and financial services, the pharmaceutical industry, healthcare, information technology, communications, agriculture, the food industry, transportation and tourism.

He added that Morocco has pursued a set of sectoral strategies and programmes to strengthen its exports and integrate the country's economy with the requirements of the global trading system, especially in regard to the global auto, aviation, electronic and innovation industries.

Mohammad Kettani, deputy CEO of the board of directors of the Professional Group of Banks in Morocco, proposed the establishment of a joint tracking committee between the group and the Association of Jordanian Banks. 

The forum was organised by the Jordanian Businessmen Association in cooperation with the Association of Banks in Jordan, the General Union for Moroccan Contracting and the Professional Group of Banks in Morocco. 

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