Jordanian delegation to visit Baghdad soon to discuss economic files

15/3/2017 12:00 am

Amman / Al-Sabah / Hazem Moubaydin
Jordan hopes that Baghdad will announce a list of Jordanian goods that will be exempted from customs duties imposed by Iraq late last year, which is 30 percent customs duties on goods imported to Iraq from all countries of the world, in line with the commitment with the International Monetary Fund, Its national industry.

Al-Sabah said that a Jordanian delegation is expected to visit Iraq within days under the chairmanship of the Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply, Yawood al-Qudah, to discuss several main files, the most important of which is the identification of customs-exempt Jordanian goods, the pipeline project, Iraqis in Jordan.

The Jordanian government submitted to the Iraqi authorities, during technical meetings held in Amman last month, a list of more than 90 percent of Jordanian goods exported to the Iraqi market to exempt it from Fees.

The Iraqi government allowed the entry of Jordanian goods which agreed to exempt them from customs duties from the port of Safwan, until the opening of the Trebil crossing, and canceled a previous decision that requires Jordanian goods exempt from customs duties and entry through the port of Trebil exclusively.

And to be manufactured in Jordan, while the implementation of the decision to subject imported goods to customs duties continued until the end of the work of the committee formed to study exemption from some of those Fees.

The meeting will be held in Baghdad to review the latest developments in the opening of the border crossing between the two countries, "Trebil", and discuss the establishment of a joint industrial zone in the event of crystallization of the date of opening this crossing, where the Jordanian authorities are ready to provide technical and logistical support to the border area customs by Iraq, It is fully ready from all sides.

Despite the closure of Trebil, Jordan's exports to Iraq did not stop. They are transported via the land route through Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to Iraq or through the sea route through the port of Aqaba to the port of Umm Qasr via Jebel Ali Port in Dubai.

The most important strategic issue is the oil pipeline project between the two countries. A framework agreement was signed between them in early 2013 to build a pipeline to transport Iraqi crude oil from Basra to export ports in the port of Aqaba and build a large gas pipeline in parallel. The pipeline route was changed to run along the Saudi-Jordanian eastern border, instead of the Jordanian-Iraqi border directly. The modified route is safer both in the Iraqi part and the investment part to Aqaba. The Iraqi government approved the new route of the pipeline in late 2015.

As for the problems faced by Iraqi investors residing in the Kingdom, the Jordanian government delegation includes various government institutions concerned to hear the problems they face as well as representatives of the private sector.

The data of the Department of Statistics show that the value of export to the Iraqi market last year fell by 32.4 percent to KD 333 million instead of 493 million dinars compared to the same period in 2015. And reached 900 million dinars during the year 2014, and continued to decline to date.