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JBA chief, Iraqi ambassador talks zero in on economic cooperation

By JT - Dec 31,2019 - Last updated at Dec 31,2019

AMMAN — Jordanian Businessmen Association (JBA) President Hamdi Tabbaa and Iraqi Ambassador to Jordan Haider Al Athari on Tuesday discussed means to enhance economic ties and the role of the private sector in this arena.

The two sides agreed on identifying the obstacles that hinder both countries' private sectors, notably problems in land cargo transport.

Talks also went over the Kingdom's role in rebuilding Iraq, mainly reopening closed factories and following up on the implementation of the oil pipeline project.

Tabbaa, in a statement carried by the Jordan news Agency, Petra, said that Iraq is one of the Kingdom's main investors, with ventures worth $18 billion distributed among various fields, including the tourism, real estate, finance and food industries.

The Iraqi market is one of the Kingdom's main, long-standing markets for exports, he added, highlighting the challenges brought about by the implementation of a 30-per cent exemption granted to a list of Jordanian products that are either not produced in Iraq or their production does not cover the needs of the Iraqi market.

Talks also touched on the possibility of extending the list to include more Jordan-made products.  

The Iraqi envoy, for his part, lauded the Jordanian-Iraqi ties, expressing the Iraqi private sector's interest in advancing cooperation, mainly in light of the available investment opportunities.

The volume of trade exchange between Jordan and Iraq reached some $706 million in 2018, with the value of Jordanian exports of pharmaceuticals, machinery, electrical equipment, among others, totalling $704 million, Petra added. 

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