Jordan, Morocco agree on trade, investment partnership

Jordanian and Moroccan businessmen on Monday laid another brick to build a new commercial and investment partnership buoyed up by dozens of agreements signed by the two countries over more than six decades of relations.

The business leaders discussed during the Jordanian-Moroccan Investment Forum key challenges facing economic relations, foremost of which are transport, travel, transit visas and restrictions on exports and imports.

They hope that the next stage will herald in a new era of strong trade and investment relations and to overcome hindrances and seize investment opportunities to achieve integration, develop businesses and enhance competition.

During the forum, which was organized by the Jordanian Businessmen Association in cooperation with the Association of Banks in Jordan and the General Union for Moroccan Contracting and the Moroccan Banks Professional Grouping, the business leaders agreed on the need to take down barriers, build successful industrial partnerships and identify priority competitive sectors.

According to statistics, the volume of trade between the two countries was at $32 million in 2017, which fell to $31 million in 2018 and was down to about 20 million dollars during the fist nine months of 2019.

Vegetable products, paper, textiles and chemical industries are key Jordanian exports to the Moroccan market, while imports from the North African country are mainly food, beverages and textiles.

The two countries have signed more than 60 agreements, protocols, executive programs and memoranda of understanding in the fields of industry, trade, agriculture, tourism, energy, information technology, transport and tax and customs.

The forum saw the signing of an agreement to set up a Joint Jordanian-Moroccan Business Council and working sessions on investment and key opportunities in the transport, logistics, tourism, food and agricultural industries, banking, information technology, renewable energy, healthcare and pharmaceuticals.

Jordanian Businessmen Association President Hamdi Al-Tabaa said that joint investments are below ambitions and "do not reflect the real available potentials."

However, he said that the business sector in Jordan and Morocco had a vested interest in forging better economic and investment ties, expressing the hope that the forum will open new scopes for cooperation in the sectors of mutual interest.

President of the Banks Association Jordan Hani Al Qadi called for upgrading trade exchange and diversifying goods and products, adding that totally abolishing visas would enhance tourism, medical tourism and visits by businessmen and other delegations.
13 January 2020