Jordan, Iraq to hold talks on agricultural trade
A Jordanian agricultural delegation held talks with Iraqi government officials in Baghdad on the trade of agricultural products, a subject not covered by the joint trade protocol signed last month.
Abdul Hadi Falahat, president of the Jordanian Agricultural Engineers Association, said that although agricultural exchanges were overlooked during last month's meetings that culminated in the 2001 protocol, the ministries of trade and industry and agriculture arranged for this week's talks to reach a new formula on agricultural products.
According to Falahat, who is heading the delegation to the Baghdad meetings, economic integration is highly important to the Arab world as it seeks to cope with competition from the large economic blocs elsewhere in the world.
Last month, Jordan and Iraq signed an agreement under which Baghdad will supply Amman with five million tons of crude oil and by-products, and which opened the way for Jordan to sell products to Iraq worth nearly $1 billion. The two sides agreed to build a 20-22-inch pipeline at a cost of $250 million along a stretch of 400 kilometers to convey the oil to the Jordan Petroleum Refinery Company near Zarqa.
Fakhri Rashan, head of economic relations at the Ministry of Agriculture and a delegation member, called on Jordanian agricultural firms to benefit from the trade protocol, which falls within the framework of the oil-for-food deal crafted by the United Nations under its sanctions regime imposed on Iraq. He said the Iraqi government has agreed to import Jordanian agricultural products and agricultural instruments under a supplement to the trade protocol signed last month.
The delegation groups, representing both public and private sector agricultural organizations, are paying a weeklong visit to Iraq that started last Monday. — (AFP, Riyadh)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)