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Last Updated:[04-09-2009 07:32:08 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

Jordan Completes Formalities on FTA with Iraq

tradenews Jordanian Prime Minister Nader al-Dahabi’s sudden visit to Iraq has culminated in the signing of the much awaited Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Iraq. He was received at the Baghdad Airport by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

In the presence of both prime ministers, the Joint Jordanian-Iraqi Higher Committee signed the FTA between both sides. The new deal is expected to further strengthen the long standing bilateral trade between the two neighbours.

At a joint press conference with Maliki, Dahabi said plans were afoot to augment the oil supplies from the current level of 10,000 barrels/day to 20,000 barrels daily. Jordan’s oil demand per day is estimated at 100,000 barrels.

Iraq was once a major source of cheap oil at preferential prices for Jordan, but it came to end after the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Though Iraq tried to resume the oil supplies to Jordan in 2006 through an agreement, however, the unabated attacks on the oil tankers forced them to call off the operations until September last year.

Dahabi reminded the co-operation between both nations in the transportation sector had helped the free movement of passengers not only from Jordan and Iraq but also to the people of Egypt. He expressed hope in the speedy completion of the maintenance work of the oil pipeline between Kirkuk and Banias that could replace tanker trucks to substantially increase the supplies in the near future.

Besides the FTA, the two sides signed a co-operation agreement in the field of animal health. Both parties have agreed to conduct exchanges between high level officials of respective countries on a half yearly basis than a yearly such event to evaluate the progress of the signed deals.

The recent Jordanian Trade Ministry data showed the two-way trade between the neighbours had almost doubled to $489mn at the end of the first half of this year as compared to the $262mn of the same period last year. Jordan mainly exports food items and medical supplies to Iraq.

By Jose Roy

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