Jordan and Syria are expected to clinch a free trade agreement by the end of the month, a Jordan trade and industry official said Sunday, September 2.
Samer Al-Tawil, secretary general at the ministry of trade and industry, said the agreement should be reached by the end of September at the next Jordanian-Syrian high committee meeting in Amman. The committee is chaired by the two countries' prime ministers.
Amman and Damascus signed a trade agreement in 1975 but it is "not compatible with the new commercial laws and the exigencies of the World Trade Organization," which Jordan joined last year, Tawil said.
Trade between the neighboring countries amounted to $67.2 million in 2001, with $44.8 million coming from Syrian exports to Jordan and $22.4 million going the other way, Tawil said.
Trade totaled $46.2 million in the first quarter of 2001, with Jordan selling mostly cement and electrical equipment to Syria, which exports mostly clothes to the kingdom.
Jordanian-Syrian ties, which have traditionally been strained, have improved with the rise to power of King Abdullah II in 1999 and Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad the next year, both of whom succeeded their late fathers. –(AFP, Amman)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )