Yemen-Jordan:Towards an Active Economic Partnership [Archives:2001/26/Business & Economy]

June 25 2001

Mahyoub Al-Kamali 
The Supreme Yemeni-Jordanian Committee is holding the 9th round of its meetings on June 30 in Amman to discuss means of enhancing economic investment, cultural, media cooperation and signing a number of agreements in these respective fields. The meeting which will be chaired by the prime ministers will be attended by a number of businessmen who are interested in increasing the trade balance between the two countries to US$ 100 million from 13 million Dinars. 
The two countries are seeking an economic and investment partnership, particularly in their free and industrialized zones. The participants will also discuss ways to establish mutual investment. 
Mutual Interests and Common Issues 
The two countries seem to have a lot in common. They both are pursuing a financial and administrative reforms program and are working to attract businessmen and investors of the two countries to establish joint ventures in the available fields. Chief among which is promoting exports and imports in the two markets. 
Statistically, Jordanian exports to Yemen approx. 21 million dinars while imports from Yemen reach about 8 million dinars. Fish is the most important among the Yemeni exports to Jordan which exceeds 5 million dinars every year. Yemen’s main imports from Jordan are cement (6 million dinars) and medical drugs (3.5 million dinars). 
A Free Trade Zone Project 
During meetings of the Supreme Yemeni-Jordanian Committee in March 2000 in Sana’a, Jordan suggested the establishment of a free trade zone for the two countries. “This will ensure a boost for the commercial exchange between the two countries, said Mr. Farooq Al-Habib, General Manager of the Jordanian Exports Promotion Organization. 
However, the Yemeni businessmen are doubtful about sufficiency of the current sea transport between the two countries. “The airway shipment services can not meet the demands of importers and exporters,” said Mr. Abdullah Al-Suneidar of the Board of Directors of the Yemeni Chambers of Commerce. During the 8th meeting of the committee, the two sides signed a protocol of technical cooperation between the Contractors Unions of the two countries as well as other agreements pertaining to cooperation in the fields of electricity, health, agriculture and development. 
Cooperation in the sphere of oil 
Last October, the two countries agreed on activating cooperation in the field of oil exploration and production, utilization of oil and mineral resources as well as exchanging of experiences in these fields. They also discussed mechanisms of licensing the private sector’ investment in this field. 
Joint sea transportation company 
One of the projects being studied is the establishment of joint ventures for sea transportation and fisheries. 
Jordan provides Yemen with technical know-how and expertise in planning, development, training of tourist police, contracting and housing. 
Comprehensive Partnership and Cordial Relations 
Despite the limited resources of the two countries, their good political relations help achieve a comprehensive partnership in the commercial fields. 
Regular meetings of the supreme committee since its establishment 11 years ago has opened new horizons of the Yemeni-Jordanian relations based on trust and mutual respect. They share a common approach towards a lot of nationalist causes such as that of Palestine. Such relations have strengthened cooperation in economic, social, cultural fields.