Jordan and Syria have signed a free trade agreement aimed at increasing annual two-way trade by more than $100 million in the years to come, officials said Monday October 8.
Jordanian Trade Minister Wassef Azar and Syrian Economy Minister Mohammad Ammadi at the end of a joint meeting of the Jordanian-Syrian high commission signed the accord, they said.
The new agreement will effectively replace the 1975 Jordan-Syrian trade convention, which is seen "incompatible" with new trade laws and requirements by the World Trade Organization, which Jordan joined in 2000.
Trade between the two neighbors reached $67.2 million in 2000, including $22.4 million of Jordanian exports to Syria and $44.8 million of Syrian exports to Jordan. The overall volume of exchanges for the first quarter of 2001 reached $46.2 million. The free trade agreement is now expected to raise the level of exchanges to over $100 million in the years to come, Jordanian officials said.
At the high commission meetings chaired by Jordanian Prime Minister Ali Abu Ragheb and his Syrian counterpart Mohammad Mustafa Miro, 12 other bilateral cooperation dealing in various fields were also signed including agreement on the promotion and protection of investments.
Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad meanwhile arrived in Jordan Monday for talks with King Abdullah II on regional and international developments. After several years of tension, relations between Jordan and Syria have improved since Abdullah came to the throne in February 1999. — (AFP, Amman)
© Agence France Presse
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )