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Exports to Iraq have room for improvement — Homsi

By Sawsan Tabazah - Nov 02,2017 - Last updated at Nov 02,2017

AMMAN — Commercial exchange between Jordan and Iraq through Turaibil border is improving, but custom tax imposed by the Iraqi government and limitations for entry are challenges to further development, said Amman Chamber of Industry (ACI) President Senator Ziad Homsi. 

The commercial exchange on the border reached its peak since the reopening of the Karameh crossing with the issuance of 430 certificates of origin, proving that the exported products are made in Jordan, the senator said.

The figures The Jordan Times obtained from Karameh customs checkpoint showed that 3845 trucks entered and exited the border since its opening from August 30 to October 27. 

Among 2033 trucks exited the checkpoint towards the Iraqi border, 1581 of which were Jordanian trucks, while rest were from Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. 

Truck Owners Association President Mohammad Dawod said that Jordanian-produced and imported steel is one of the most exported items to Iraq. 

Dawod said that before the border closure in 2012, about 300 Jordanian Trucks crossed the Iraqi side every day, but security concerns prompted investors to be more cautious with their investments. 

Homsi expressed his hopes to return to the previous commercial state, when Jordanian exports to Iraq stood at 20 per cent of the national exports, but the 30 per cent tax imposed by the Iraqi government on imports and the reloading of Jordanian cargo onto Iraqi trucks at the border are the main challenges. 

Last month, the Iraqi prime minister made promises to exempt some Jordanian products from customs, “we are optimistic” Homsi said.

Since Iraq bans the entry of any  foreign truck in its territory, the cargo is exchanged at the border. “Some products would get affected through this process, so they should facilitate the exchange of containers rather than the products,” Homsi added. 

Exports to Iraq peaked at JD1.247 million by the end of 2013. 

Meanwhile, the Iraqi embassy’s commercial attaché Abdel Ameer Aziz noted that security concerns are still relevant and continue bounding people from travelling by land.  

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