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Jordan, Iraq agree to set up industrial estate on border

By JT - Sep 10,2017 - Last updated at Sep 10,2017

AMMAN — Industry, Trade and Supply Minister Yarub Qudah on Sunday said that Jordan and Iraq have agreed to establish a joint Jordanian-Iraqi industrial estate on the newly reopened border between the two countries.

During a meeting organised by the Jordan Chamber of Industry (JCI) with Iraqi Minister of Industry and Minerals Mohammad Sudani, Qudah noted that the agreement to establish the zone aims at enhancing commercial exchange and at contributing to reconstruction projects in Iraq, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

He added that an Iraqi committee started field visits to Jordanian factories before Eid Al Adha to check on their production capacities, prior to considering exemptions on Jordanian exports to Iraq.

The minister expected the committee to warp up the visit programme by next week, noting that it has already been agreed with the Iraqi side that products bound for the eastern neighbour will not be exempted from fees if they are produced in Iraq, where they meet a good part of the market need.

If the Iraq-made products do not meet the needs of the local market, the Iraqi authorities agreed to consider granting exemptions on similar Jordanian products, upon a recommendation by the committee, the minister explained.

Meanwhile, Qudah urged Jordanian companies to establish strategic partnerships with Iraqi counterparts to prepare for the reconstruction in Iraq.

For his part, Sudani, who is also minister of labour and social affairs, stressed that there is a strategic understanding, supported by both countries’ political leaderships, to develop commercial and investment cooperation to serve the interests of both countries.

The minister added that despite the fact that Iraq has faced several economic and security challenges, it regards Jordan as the closest country from many aspects and is keen on developing cooperation between the two sides.

He said that Iraq is going through difficult economic challenges, including high rates of unemployment, poverty and inflation that have affected all governorates, especially those that were liberated recently from terrorists, in addition to the fact that there are some 3.5 million internally displaced people who need basic daily services. 

Sudani expressed Iraq’s willingness to develop industrial investment partnerships with Jordan through establishing the joint venture on the border, vowing, at the same time, to provide all possible facilities to Jordanian investors interested in having businesses in Iraq and in participating in reconstruction schemes. 

He stressed that reopening the Turaibil border crossing with Jordan earlier this month is a message to the world that Iraq has the potential to impose the rule of law and is capable of securing the area and the international road.

JCI President Adnan Abul Ragheb said that reopening the crossing will contribute to increasing the volume of commercial exchange, noting that Jordanian exports to Iraq in 2016 stood at $470 million, compared to $697 million in 2015, with a decrease of 32.5 per cent.

 

He also expressed the industrial sector’s aspiration to take part in the Baghdad international fair, scheduled to be held in October, calling for facilitating procedures for Jordanian companies to participate in the event, which is envisioned to be a good opportunity to enhance commercial ties between businesspeople in both countries.

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