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Jordan keen on economic integration with Arab countries — PM

By JT - Jan 19,2023 - Last updated at Jan 19,2023

AMMAN — Jordan believes that solutions to the unprecedented challenges posed by the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukrainian-Russian crisis over the past three years will be found through enhanced cooperation and collective action among the countries of the region and the world, Prime Minister Bisher Khasawneh said on Thursday.

During his participation in a session at the World Economic Forum on the rapprochement of Arab economies, with the participation of Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid, Khasawneh pointed out that the Kingdom focuses on boosting its cooperation and economic integration with Arab countries, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

Khasawneh referred to the trilateral cooperation mechanism between Jordan, Egypt and Iraq, an idea of His Majesty King Abdullah’s intended to promote economic cooperation between the three countries, linking the interests of the countries and building upon their competitive advantages to the benefit of the nations and their peoples.

He also referred to the Industrial City project on the border between Jordan and Iraq, and the project to extend an oil pipeline from Basra to Aqaba and then to Egypt, stressing the importance of these two projects for the economic and industrial integration of the three countries.

The prime minister spoke about the industrial integration initiative between Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain aimed at enhancing partnership and utilising their expertise in developing high-level competitive industries and developing joint industrial schemes.

Khasawneh stressed that the volume of intra-Arab trade remains low and below the level of the Kingdom’s ambition. Although there is a free trade agreement among Arab countries, the volume of intra-Arab trade does not exceed 13 per cent of Arab countries trade volume with the world, he added.

He also highlighted Jordan's cooperation with Cyprus and Greece in the energy and gas fields, stressing that there are wide opportunities for cooperation in the Mediterranean, and that achieving peace and ensuring security and stability leads to wider areas of regional cooperation.

The prime minister reviewed the comprehensive modernisation process led by King Abdullah in its three political, economic and administrative tracks, stressing that the Economic Modernisation Vision aims to double the rate of economic growth to 5.5 per cent and provide some one million jobs over 10 years.

In this regard, he said that the Economic Modernisation Vision aims to attract $1.5 billion in foreign investments annually and $2.5 billion in domestic investments annually.

Khasawneh also referred to the Kingdom's macroeconomic successes, noting that inflation stands at 4.2 per cent, which is a low figure compared to other countries with natural resources.

The premier also said that many international credit rating institutions have upgraded Jordan's credit rating, emphasising his confidence in the Jordanian economy and its path towards recovery.

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