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PM discuss with Saudi industry minister 'deep-rooted' relations

By JT - May 24,2024 - Last updated at May 24,2024

AMMAN — Prime Minister Bisher Khasawneh on Thursday met Saudi Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar Bin Ibrahim Al Khorayef, with the discussion highlighting the Jordanian-Saudi "deep-rooted" relations.

Khasawneh cited the directives of the leadership of both kingdoms to expand cooperation and find ways to enhance bilateral relations to serve the mutual interests of the two nations, according to the Jordan News Agency, Petra.

The premier underlined the joint commitment to deepen cooperation in various sectors, particularly in industry, investment and energy, noting the importance of providing promising integration opportunities and sharing expertise in mining, value-added industries and clean energy.

Al Khorayef also affirmed Saudi Arabia's intention to seize promising opportunities and cooperate in various sectors to meet the aspirations of the leaders and citizens of both countries.

Also on Thursday, Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply Yousef Shamali met with Al Khorayef.

Shamali said that Jordanian-Saudi relations are "deeply rooted and historic" across various fields, based on the guidance of the leaderships of the two countries.

Shamali emphasised the necessity of building strategic and integrative partnerships that serve the private sector in both countries.

He noted that the private sector leads economic activities in both countries, highlighting that Saudi Arabia is Jordan’s third-largest trading partner, underscoring the need to maintain and increase trade volumes.

He pointed out that the two countries share many economic orientations, including Jordan’s Economic Modernisation Vision (EMV), Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, industrial policies in both countries, export strategies, and more.

Shamali commended the Saudi delegation's visit to several Jordanian factories and companies, which are among the leading industrial enterprises in the kingdom and the region.

Al Khorayef praised Jordan’s EMV, which provides a clear programme for developing targeted sectors.

He emphasised that Jordan’s industrial capabilities in various sectors, especially pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals and services, offer hope for regional opportunities.

Jordan Chamber of Commerce (JCC) Chairman Khalil Hajj Tawfiq said that the trade volume between Jordan and Saudi Arabia during the first two months of 2024 reached approximately JD341 million, with around JD129 million in exports and about JD471 million in imports.

Tawfiq noted that Saudi Arabia topped the Arab Free Trade Area countries in terms of Jordanian exports in 2023, with Jordanian exports to Saudi Arabia increasing to JD984 million, a 17.1 per cent rise compared with JD840 million in 2022,

He added that Jordan’s imports from Saudi Arabia decreased by 11.6 per cent in 2023, amounting to JD2.591 billion, compared with JD2.932 billion in 2022.

The total trade exchanges between Jordan and Saudi Arabia in 2023 reached about JD3.575 billion, compared with JD3.772 billion in 2022, while Jordan’s trade deficit with Saudi Arabia dropped to about JD1.607 billion last year, from JD2.092 billion in 2022.

According to statistical data from the JCC, the certificates of origin issued by the chamber during the first third of 2924 were mostly for Saudi Arabia, with 1,449 certificates out of 8,468 total certificates.

The value of exports to Saudi Arabia during the same period was approximately JD24 million.

Also on Thursday, Minister of Investment Kholoud Saqqaf discussed with Al Khorayef and his accompanying delegation ways to enhance cooperation between the two countries in the field of investment.

She said that Saudi Arabia is on the top of non-Jordanian investors in the Amman Stock Exchange, with 2,337 investors, including both companies and individuals.

The total investment volume amounts to $1.55 billion, distributed across various sectors.

Saqqaf expressed Jordan’s aspiration for increased Saudi investments in Jordan and the establishment of fruitful partnerships that benefit both countries.

Also on Thursday, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Saleh Kharabsheh met Al Khorayef to discuss enhancing Jordanian-Saudi cooperation in the mining sector.

Kharabsha stressed the importance of exploring new areas of cooperation with Saudi Arabia, especially in the areas of sustainability, environmental initiatives and infrastructure development, according to Petra.

He also highlighted the investment opportunities in the mining sector in Jordan and the efforts of the Ministry of Energy to benefit from them, starting with the signing of 13 memorandums of understanding for mineral exploration throughout the Kingdom.

Al Khorayef highlighted the importance of strengthening cooperation through exchanging expertise, organising joint events, and encouraging the private sector in the two countries to establish investment partnerships.

The two ministers agreed to activate the technical memorandum of understanding signed between the two kingdoms in the field of geology and mining, by identifying contact points to develop an action plan to activate various areas of mineral wealth, including joint geochemical studies.

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