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Czech ambassador urges stronger business ties, trade exchange

Businesspeople explore opportunities for collaboration at Czech-Jordan Business Forum

By Dana Al Emam - Oct 12,2016 - Last updated at Oct 12,2016

AMMAN — The food and drink industry could be the beacon to increase trade volume between Jordan and the Czech Republic to its full potential, stakeholders said on Wednesday.

While bilateral cooperation is present in all possible fields, and political and diplomatic relations between the two countries are “excellent”, trade exchange is “still low”, said Czech Ambassador to Jordan Petr Hladik.

Speaking at the opening of the Czech-Jordan Business Forum, the diplomat urged members of the business community from the two countries present at the event to look into possibilities for enhancing trade cooperation.

He said opening a Jordanian embassy in Prague could further enhance cooperation, noting that Jordan’s embassy in Vienna currently runs the Kingdom’s affairs in the Czech Republic.

Furthermore, Hladik noted, the Czech people tend to perceive Jordan in light of the regional outlook. “They do not understand that Jordan is a different case.”

Organised by the Czech embassy in Amman, the Amman Chamber of Commerce (ACC), the Amman Chamber of Industry (ACI) and the Federation of the Food and Drink Industries of the Czech Republic, the forum facilitated one-to-one meetings between businesspeople from the two countries.

ACC Vice Chairman Ghassan Kherfan said Jordan’s strategic location and its security attract investors, adding that the Kingdom’s trade agreements with regional and international partners have opened the door to markets of nearly 1 billion consumers.

He noted that trade volume between the two countries is around $33 million annually, consisting mainly of Czech products, including machines and chemicals. Meanwhile, Jordanian exports comprise chemical products and food items.

ACI President Ziad Homsi agreed that trade relations are “still below expectations”, adding that the relaxed rules of origin with European countries should encourage Czech businesses to consider the Jordanian market.

Miroslav Toman, the president of the Czech Federation of the Food and Drink Industries, noted that his country mainly exports poultry products, beef, dairy products, sugar and chocolate. 

 

Meanwhile, exports to the Arab world are mostly milk products, cheese, beef, candies, sugar and mineral water.

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