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Jordanian-Iraqi Joint Committee meeting hears of ways to enhance trade

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

AMMAN — The Jordanian Iraqi Joint Committee on Thursday concluded its 28th session in Amman, led by Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply Tareq Hammouri and the Iraqi Minister of Industry and Minerals Saleh Jubouri. 

The committee’s two-day meeting resulted in the creation of mechanisms to facilitate the enhancement of bilateral cooperation in economic fields as well as ways to make the most of agreements and understandings, according to the Jordan News Agency, Petra. 

The session began with a meeting of the technical committee, under the leadership of Secretary General of the Trade Ministry Yousef Shamali and Deputy of the Iraqi Trade Ministry Walid Hilou. 

The panel expressed its “satisfaction” with the level of cooperation between the two countries and highlighted the importance of “moving forward with confident strides” towards the enhancement of relations. 

“Our meeting today is a new addition to the several accomplishments made in the past 27 sessions of the joint committee, that have contributed greatly to bolstering economic and trade relations,” Hammouri said. 

The minister shed light on a number of “vital” agreements that were reached during the committee’s 27th session, most notably, a bundle of understandings and projects that were announced during an official meeting of the countries’ prime ministers in February. 

“We look forward to the visit of a technical taskforce to Jordanian factories to begin applying Iraqi Cabinet decision No. 25 to the various products and goods listed in the agreement and rejuvenating operations at the Karameh-Turaibil border crossing, as it is now open around the clock,” he added. 

Hammouri said the visit would also “expand on the use of the door-to-door mechanism for merchandise”, and help further the Iraqi side’s ability to benefit from the discount on handling fees for Iraqi imports through the Aqaba Port. 

The minister expressed hopes for the swift conclusion of procedures ahead of establishing an Iraqi-Jordanian economic city, noting that the products and industries within would benefit from exemptions and the advantages offered by Jordan’s trade agreements with foreign countries.

The estate would also provide access to markets which cater to a total of 1 billion people with “great purchasing power and no technical or customs-related restrictions”. 

The Kingdom is exerting all its efforts and capabilities towards the reconstruction of Iraq and the development of Iraqi human resources in an array of fields via a training plan provided by Jordan, the minister said. 

Jordan is scheduled to participate with a high-level delegation of private and public sector representatives in the 46th round of Iraq’s international exhibition in November, Petra said.

For his part, Jubouri called on continued implementation of agreements to boost bilateral economic cooperation. 

As part of agreements reached during the session, Jordan will provide Iraq with a list of companies and factories, their product lists and annual production capacities, which will highlight the items meant for export. 

Jordan has also requested the stipulation of a quota for Jordanian products that would be exempted from Iraqi fees, with the Iraqi side promising to study the request and respond as soon as possible. 

The Iraqi side commended the 75 per cent discount offered to Iraqi products imported through the Aqaba Port, Petra said. 

The meetings were attended by Jordanian Ambassador to Iraq Muntaser Oqleh and Iraqi Ambassador to Jordan Safia Suhail, alongside representatives from the two countries’ private sectors.

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