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Commerce chamber presses for free trade deal with Indonesia

By Mohammad Ghazal - Aug 01,2016 - Last updated at Aug 01,2016

AMMAN — The Jordan Chamber of Commerce (JCC) on Monday urged its Indonesian counterpart to lobby the Indonesian government to endorse a free trade agreement with the Kingdom, its president said.

“We want you to do more. The memorandum for this agreement was reached during His Majesty King Abdullah’s visit to Indonesia in 2015 and since then nothing has happened,” JCC President Nael Kabariti said at a meeting with a delegation from the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and private sector representatives. 

“This agreement will help increase trade between the two countries, and it is actually mostly in favour of Indonesia,” Kabariti added, noting that the trade balance was in Jakarta’s interest.  

Stressing that economic ties were “below desired levels”, he said the growth of bilateral trade was moving “very slowly”.

“We hope that ties in this regard [will increase] to the level of the advanced political ties between the two countries,” said Kabariti, adding that the free trade agreement would pave the way for more joint projects.

He noted that there were plenty of opportunities to explore between Jordanian and Indonesian businesspeople, stressing the need for partnerships and joint investments.

“If we have the free trade agreement, it will be cheaper to import from Indonesia than from China,” said Kabariti, adding that Jordanian businesspeople are eager for increased cooperation with Indonesia.

According to the chamber, Jordan’s exports to Indonesia include phosphate, fertilisers, furniture, waste and cast iron scrap metal. Jordan’s imports include palm oil, fish, coffee, pepper, tyres, glass and tiles.

Meanwhile, Fachry Thaib, head of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce, said the potential was huge for more collaboration between the two countries.

He said there were new regulations in place in Indonesia to facilitate doing business and starting joint investments.

Indonesia, he said, is planning to build new renewable energy power plants with a 55,000 megawatt capacity, stressing that this is an area of potential cooperation with Jordan.

 

Jordanian businesses could play a role in upcoming mega projects in Indonesia, he added.

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