Jul 13 2011
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'Jordan GCC accession win-win situation'
Existing bilateral trade links and strong investment in the Kingdom 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 study, e-mailed to The Jordan Times Tuesday, explained.
Most economic experts believe that Jordan's accession to the GCC would enable it to strengthen its economy, improve its trade deficit and boost foreign direct investment from Gulf countries, the chamber's report said, adding Jordan's membership in the economic and political grouping would add potential benefits to the GCC, like its close association with the US and European Union and free trade agreements with major countries.
Around 600,000 Jordanians are working in Gulf nations, according to estimates.
The study cited official figures from Jordan, which showed that the number of tourists from Gulf states who visited Jordan last year made up 28.2 per cent of the total number of visitors, predicting these numbers to increase in the coming years.
Representatives from the Jordanian commercial and industrial sectors echoed the same remarks of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry , saying if Jordan joins the oil-rich countries bloc, this will serve the interests of all parties.
Nael Kabariti, president of the Jordan Chamber of Commerce, said the financial and energy resources in the Gulf with highly qualified labour force in Jordan will "create a strong economic force".
Unified customs duties will ease the flow of goods and people, which will result in doubling the trade exchange in the coming few years, Kabariti emphasised.
Nazzal Armouti, deputy chairman of the Jordan Chamber of Industry, said that Jordan and the GCC have many advantages to offer to each other, particularly in the field of joint investments.
In Jordan, there are many industries in the sectors of pharmaceuticals, information technology, electronics and food manufacturing that reached advanced international levels, indicating investors from the Gulf can see these fields as large investment opportunities.
"In light of regional turmoil, Jordan can be a safe haven for Gulf investments," Armouti stated.
In 2010, bilateral trade between Jordan and the six oil-rich Gulf countries exceeded $5 billion, the study said, citing figures by Jordan's Department of Statistics.
The GCC accounted for 24.2 per cent of Jordan's imports in 2010, while 18.4 per cent of the Kingdom's exports were destined for Gulf states, according to the figures.
© Jordan Times 2011
© Copyright Zawya. All Rights Reserved.
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