The head of Jordan's chamber of commerce said here Saturday that Jordanian businesses wanted to bolster trade with Iraq, Baghdad's official INA news agency said.
"We want to strengthen our relations with Iraqi businessmen and industrialists," Osman Bdeir said during a meeting with Iraqi industrial union leader Ihsan Abderrazak Abdel Ghafur.
Despite the UN embargo on Iraq, Jordan and Iraq have an oil and trade agreement under which Jordan will export up to $300 million to Iraq this year in exchange for 4.8 million tonnes of Iraqi oil. Jordan receives half the oil free and the remainder at preferential tariffs.
Jordan has exported $843 million worth of goods to Iraq between late 1996 and late 1999 under the UN-sponsored program that lets Iraq sell limited amounts of oil in exchange for food, medicine and other necessities.
Bdeir said last Saturday that many Jordanian firms wanted to break off links with Israel, a precondition for all companies doing business with Iraq.
Some 50 Jordanian companies are estimated to have done business with Israel since the kingdom and the Jewish state signed a peace agreement in 1994. – (AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )