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Trucking sector hopes for better trade with Iraq after eid

By Mohammad Ghazal - Jun 14,2018 - Last updated at Jun 14,2018

A view of the Karameh/Turaibil border crossing between Jordan and Iraq. Jordanian trucks are still not allowed to unload their shipments inside Iraq (File photo)

AMMAN — Talks between Jordan and Iraq on allowing the entry of Jordanian trucks into the neighbouring country will resume after Eid Al Fitr and following the formation of a new Iraqi government, a sector leader has said.

"Following the recent elections in Iraq, we are now awaiting the formation of a new government in order to continue our talks about allowing our trucks into Iraq... we hope by July there will be some breakthrough in this regard," Mohammad Dawoud, president of the Jordan Truck Owners Association, told The Jordan Times over the phone on Wednesday.

"We hope that the talks with the new Iraqi government that is to be formed will yield positive results as Iraq is a key market for Jordan," Dawoud added.

Currently, around 80 to 85 Jordanian trucks laden with various types of commodities unload their freight at the Jordanian-Iraqi border every day.

"Jordanians’ products’ entry into Iraq resumed at the beginning of this year and to date more than 450 trucks unloaded goods at the border crossing… Once our trucks are allowed to enter Iraq, we expect the number to increase," he added.

Prior to the closure of the Iraqi border with Jordan in 2014 after Daesh seized control of a large part of western Iraq, around 700 trucks used to enter Iraq, the main regional market for Jordan, on a daily basis, according to Dawood.

Following the reopening of the Turaibil border crossing between Jordan and Iraq late 2017, Jordanian exports resumed.

"Trade volume with Iraq is still modest and below the desired levels; we hope it will pick up again soon," he said.

The truck fleet in Jordan comprises 21,000 vehicles, and the Iraqi market is one of the largest markets for the sector, according to Dawoud.

Last year, Iraq awarded a contract to a security firm to secure the road connecting Baghdad to Turaibil, which was seen as a major step to resume the flow of goods.

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