Jordan to Export $225m Worth Goods to Baghdad via UN Program
The United Nations has approved Jordanian export deals to Iraq worth more than $225 million under the nineth phase of the oil-for-food program ending in December, a senior government official told the Jordan Times on Monday.
He said that the value of approved contracts represented around 33 percent of the $665 million worth of deals signed under the renewable six-month-long program, which allows Iraq to sell oil and use the proceeds to buy humanitarian supplies.
Jordanian officials say that if all signed deals are endorsed and the goods are exported to Iraq before the end of this year, this would help reactivate the Port of Aqaba, the kingdom's sole maritime outlet.
Concluding a three-day visit to Baghdad which grouped several ministers and businessmen, Jordanian and Iraqi officials agreed to widen the scope of goods admitted under the bilateral trade protocol.
The head of the delegation, Trade Minister Wassef Azar called in an interview with Iraq's weekly Al Rafidain for an end to the international embargo imposed on Iraq since 1990.
"The lifting of the embargo is a priority for Jordan," he said, adding that this was Amman's "strategic position.”
The government earlier called on the Iraqis to increase their imports via the Red Sea port, the main trading channel for Iraqi imports during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, said the paper.
In November, Jordan and Iraq renewed their bilateral trade protocol, raising it to $450 million from $300 million.
Under the deal, Iraq will supply Jordan with all its oil needs, which are estimated at five million tons in 2001, at a cost of around $600 million.
Nearly half the oil is to be provided in the form of a grant while the remainder is purchased at preferential prices – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)