A free trade agreement (FTA) between Jordan and Syria that will lift all tariffs is expected to be signed in August, Jordanian officials announced on Wednesday.
The accord is set to be signed during a meeting of the higher Jordanian-Syrian Committee, scheduled to convene in Amman in August, the officials told the Jordan Times.
“We have agreed in principle on the general framework of the agreement, but the draft agreement will be finalized in July by experts from both sides who will then present it to the committee,” said Trade and Industry Ministry Secretary General Samer Tawil.
Under the present Jordanian-Syrian protocol, 120 items are already customs free.
But when the FTA agreement is concluded, all traded goods will become exempt, except for 10 items which will gradually become exempt by 2003, as well as garments, which will become exempt by 2005, said Tawil.
Last year, two-way trade between the neighbors stood at JD48 million ($68 million), and was heavily tipped in Syria's favor, with around JD32 million ($45 million) in Syrian exports to the kingdom.
Tawil told the paper that total trade exchange was expected to at least double when the agreement took effect.
The first trade agreement with Syria was signed in 1975.
Syrian-Jordanian ties chilled when Jordan signed a peace treaty with Israel. But they have markedly improved since King Abdullah ascended the throne in 1999, and saw further development when Syrian President Bashar Assad became president last year – Albawaba.com
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