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Jordan, India reaffirm drive for further cooperation

By Abeer Numan - Mar 31,2015 - Last updated at Mar 31,2015

AMMAN — The Joint Jordanian-Indian Committee convened its 9th session this week, a high-level meeting that has not been held for nine years. 

Industry and Trade Minister Maha Ali and India’s Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman co-chaired the meeting which reflects mutual interest to develop various areas such as joint commercial exchange and industry. 

Ali told The Jordan Times  the meeting  was a chance to increase cooperation in the areas of trade, industry, standards and specifications, tourism and transport. She added that the 15 per cent growth in bilateral trade in the past year to around $2 billion is positive and should be built on. 

Sitharaman stressed the need to seize current opportunities to maximise cooperation. 

She said the talks addressed the possibility of increasing Jordan’s exports to India and expanding India’s business activities and investments in the Kingdom as well as establishing interaction between small and medium scale enterprises.

Delivering an address at a business gathering after the conclusion of the committee’s meeting, the Indian minister underscored long standing relations between the two countries and the importance of continuing efforts and contacts to reinvigorate ties.  

“Engagement at regular intervals increases the strength of relations,” she said, addressing  local officials as well as Jordanian and Iraqi businessmen.

India’s Ambassador to Jordan Anil Trigunayat commended current joint trade cooperation noting that India is now Jordan’s 4th commercial partner.

“Synergies can be realised to bring about momentum to develop our cooperation,” he added. 

At an interview with The Jordan Times, Sitharaman reiterated that the 9th session of the joint committee meetings reinforced the relations between the two countries…, “especially that they were held after a considerable gap”.

Noting that discussions addressed procurement deals for rock phosphate and potash and ensuring trade is improved, she said: “I hope we reach a target of $5 billion by 2020,” pointing out that the joint trade volume reached $2 billion in 2014. 

“Because there should be greater trade between the countries, we invited minister Ali to lead a delegation of businesspeople and to attend B2B meetings that are part of a business forum, known as the International Trade Fair, held in Delhi in November," Sitharaman added.

During a meeting with Ali, along with ICT Minister Majd Shweikeh, Transport Minister Lina Shbeeb and Higher Education Minister Labib Khadra, several cooperation proposals were made in the fields of building railways and ICT services, she indicated.    

The Indian minister highlighted the possibility of expertise exchange in ICT, noting that Jordanians can participate in a global exhibition on services to be held in Delhi in late April.

Regarding business hurdles, she mentioned the implementation of a commitment regarding visas upon arrival.

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