Some 300 Jordanian commodities will be exempted of custom duties and fees to Iraq as of next week under an understanding reached between the two countries, an official said on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Jordan and Iraq have agreed that the former would lower fees on Iraqi shipments handled at Aqaba Port in return for lower prices of Iraqi oil imported by Jordan, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi announced Tuesday, as quoted by the Jordan News Agency, Petra.
“We are now awaiting final approval by the Iraqi authorities for the decision to exempt these commodities to go into effect, and this is expected next week,” Yanal Barmawi, spokesperson of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply, told The Jordan Times on Tuesday.
Commodities to be exempted include plastic industries, pharmaceuticals, detergents, chemical materials and food products, he said.
"These exemptions are in line with the Jordanian-Iraqi free trade agreement," Barmawi said.
The free trade agreement was signed in 2009 and Jordan hoped it would serve as a catalyst for boosting trade with neighbouring Iraq.
The official said exports to Iraq are expected to increase by the end of this year or early next year, after these exemptions go into effect.
On Monday, a delegation of Jordanian ministers, state officials and representatives of the private sector met with their Iraqi counterparts to discuss furthering cooperation.
Multiple deals were signed to advance joint efforts in regards to trade and energy cooperation, among other fields, according to Deputy Prime Minister Rajai Muasher.
Jordan and Iraq recently agreed to a door-to-door freight shipping agreement, under which cargo trucks are expected to start crossing the Jordan-Iraq border once again to reach their final destination.
Although the border has been open and operational for some time now, truck shipments from Jordan bound for Iraq have not been allowed. Instead, the goods would be unloaded, moved to an Iraqi truck waiting on the other side of the border, and then delivered.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Jordan and Amman Chambers of Industry Fathi Jaghbir on Tuesday announced the signing of an agreement with the Iraqi Business Council to establish an Iraqi-Jordanian businesspeople committee to promote trade exchange between the two countries, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.
Jaghbir pointed out that the agreement, signed on the sidelines of a Jordanian delegation's visit to Iraq, aims also to develop cooperation in the field of trade exchange as well as establishing partnerships, investment, services and joint projects between the two countries, including the Jordanian-Iraqi joint industrial zone.
He added that necessary recommendations were made to boost trade exchange between the two countries and encourage businessmen in both countries to participate in trade fairs, in addition to increase the visits of the economic delegations between the two countries.
By Mohammad Ghazal
© Copyright The Jordan Times. All rights reserved.