King Abdullah Heads for US to Witness Signing of Free Trade Pact
Jordan's King Abdullah II left for the United States on Monday to witness the signing of a free trade agreement at an official White House ceremony also to be attended by President Bill Clinton.
Officials said that King Abdullah would spend several days in the United States but they gave no details of his schedule apart from Tuesday's signing ceremony.
Jordan hopes the accord, the fourth of its kind between Washington and a foreign country, will help bolster its exports to the United States and attract US investments to its cash-strapped economy.
Talks on the agreement were launched on the sidelines of a visit by King Abdullah to Washington in June.
The king was preceded to Washington by Deputy Prime Minister Mohammad Halaykah, who is in charge of economic affairs, and was the force behind Jordan's entry earlier this year to the World Trade Organization.
In 1999, Jordan's exports to the United States totaled less than 13 million dollars, compared with 360 million in US imports, according to official figures.
Jordan is the fourth beneficiary largest of US aid, amounting to nearly one billion dollars in the last three years – AMMAN (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)