Jordan-Gulf Economic Forum aims to boost trade and economic ties

(Photos: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — The third Jordan-GCC Economic Forum began Tuesday in Amman, bringing together officials and business representatives from Jordan and GCC member states to discuss prospects for advancing economic relations.اضافة اعلان

Held under the theme “New horizons for economic and investment cooperation” the forum aims to advance the strategic objectives and interests of Jordan and members of the Arab regional grouping, according to a statement by the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Supply.

Businessmen, investors, heads of trade federations and chambers of commerce, as well as representatives of Gulf and Jordanian government stakeholders attend the two-day event, which the ministry described as a significant milestone in Jordan-GCC cooperation.

In opening remarks, Minister of Industry, Trade, and Supply Youssef Shamali told the forum that Jordan-GCC trade reached $6.6 billion in 2021, of which $1.7 billion were GCC-bound Jordanian exports, and $4.9 billion were imports.

The minister stated that the largest foreign investments in the Kingdom come from the Gulf, and that Gulf capital has benefited the Jordanian economy and provided more jobs for Jordanians.

He emphasized that bringing the Arab nations together to form a powerful economic bloc would allow them to improve their exports, increase production, create new job opportunities for young people, and achieve greater integration into the global economy.

Jordan Chamber of Commerce Chairman Nael Kabariti emphasized that the new economic reality necessitates new transformations and patterns, and that the forum is a continuation of efforts to build bridges of cooperation and integration between Jordan and the GCC countries.

He warned of an impending “global economic tsunami”, stressing that the Arab countries must be “resilient and agile, and should establish strong economic alliances if they want to weather the storm”.

“We are all aware that there is no room in the future for closed-off nations. The only path available is embracing globalization, rapid technological development, and the post-Fourth Industrial Revolution,” he said.

President of the Federation of Gulf Chambers Ajlan bin Abdulaziz Al–Ajlan said he hoped the forum would open new horizons for economic and trade relations between the Gulf states and Jordan, and emphasized that strengthening pan-Arab economic cooperation is one way to achieve sustainable development in the region.

Ajlan also stated that the GCC countries’ investments in Jordan are estimated to be worth $40 billion in various productive, services, and industrial sectors, with an annual trade volume of about $6 billion.

GCC Secretary-General Nayef Hajraf said that Jordan is one of the council’s major trading partners, with a trade volume of more than $57 billion between 2013 and 2020.

He added that Gulf investments in the Amman financial market ranked first among Arab and foreign investments, exceeding $2 billion, while Jordanian investments in Gulf stock markets surpassed $700 million.

Prime Minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh met with GCC Secretary-General Nayef Hajraf and his accompanying delegation on the sidelines of the forum, and stressed that Jordan is committed to cementing relations with GCC countries and expanding areas of joint cooperation to advance shared interests.

He stressed that regional and global challenges, as well as the coronavirus pandemic, call for greater pan-Arab cooperation and integration, particularly in the areas of food and medicine security.

Khasawneh also said that the Gulf countries have the largest volume of foreign investment in Jordan, emphasizing that his government welcomes more Gulf capital and will continue to provide all necessary facilities for current and prospective investments.

The prime minister emphasized that the third Jordan-GCC Economic Forum is an opportunity to enhance communication and networking among the business communities from Jordan and the Arab bloc’s member states.

Khasawneh commended the GCC ambassadors for their contributions to advancing joint cooperation and enhancing Jordan-GCC ties.

Hajraf said that the leaders of the council’s member states have a “genuine desire” to boost strategic ties with Jordan, stating: “We seek to strengthen joint relations toward economic integration in all fields.”

He noted that over 400 people participate in this year’s edition of the forum, a figure that demonstrate the GCC’s and Jordan’s commitment to boost economic cooperation and facilitate trade.

The ambassadors of the GCC member states in Amman, as well as a number of Jordanian and Gulf officials, attended the meeting.

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