`Jordan`s entry into GCC will boost trade ties`

Jordan`s bid to join the GCC will not only enhance trade and investment opportunities within the kingdom, but will also reinforce historical ties between Arab countries, a study claims.

Dubai: Jordan`s bid to join the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will not only enhance trade and
investment opportunities within the kingdom, but will also reinforce historical ties between Arab countries, a study by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry has said.

The study finds that existing bilateral trade links and strong investment in Jordan by Gulf countries will continue to benefit Jordan`s economy, while increased tourism and the free
flow of Jordan`s skilled and educated workforce will boost GCC economies.

The GCC is one of Jordan`s major trading partners. During the last decade, bilateral trade between the GCC and Jordan has increased immensely, the study finds.

Last year, bilateral trade between Jordan and the six oil-rich Gulf countries exceeded the USD 5 billion mark.

According to the Jordan Department of Statistics, the GCC
accounted for 24.2 per cent of Jordan`s imports in 2010, while
18.4 per cent of Jordan`s exports were destined for Gulf
states.

Jordan`s imports from the GCC mainly comprised mineral fuels, oil, plastic articles, iron and steel and aluminum articles. On the other hand, Jordan`s exports to the GCC chiefly consisted of edible vegetables and fruits, pharmaceuticals, inorganic chemicals, precious metals, stones,
machinery, electrical and electronic equipments and articles
of iron and steel.

Among the GCC members, Saudi Arabia is the top trading partner with Jordan. Saudi Arabia, which supplies crude oil to Jordan, topped the list of exporters, followed by China and
the US. In 2010, Jordan`s trade (exports and imports) with Saudi Arabia surpassed USD 3 billion, while total trade between the UAE and Jordan was reported to be over USD 700 million.

Jordan`s bilateral trade with Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar was estimated at USD 306 million, USD 212 million, USD 60 million and USD 110 million, respectively, during the same
period, according to the study.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Jordan, especially from Gulf countries, grew remarkably during the last decade. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), GCC
economies, particularly Saudi Arabia, have a major impact on Jordan`s economy, as they account for the highest share of Jordanian FDI, trade, remittance and tourism.

Figures by the Jordan Investment Board (JIB) have indicated that Saudi Arabia is among the top countries with the largest investment in Jordan. During the last three years, Saudi Arabia has invested over USD 4 billion on different projects in Jordan.

PTI

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