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25 Oct

WANA Hosts a Panel on Challenges and Prospects of European-Jordan Trade

On October 25, Intercontinental Hotel, Amman, Jordan - The West Asia-North Africa (WANA) Institute hosted an event on the current challenges of EU-Jordan trade relations, and prospects for expanding them. The event is a EuroMeSCo Back to the Field Session, “Towards More Robust EU-Jordan Trade: Challenges and Prospects” which aims to bring together expert stakeholders from the EU-Jordan trade community. The WANA Institute held the session with focus on trade cooperation through an open and evidence-based dialogue on the dimensions of EU-Jordan trade and the main obstacles for growth.

The EuroMeSCo Euromed Survey’s Back to the Field Sessions is organised in the framework of the EuroMeSCo: Connecting the Dots project, give the experts of analytical articles of the survey report the opportunity to present their contribution and the publication as a whole to their respective constituencies with the aim of raising awareness among relevant local stakeholders.  The event brought together Jordanian and EU government officials, as well as private sector stakeholders who work in promoting Jordanian exports to the EU. The event was styled as a debate between three EU and Jordanian panellists, followed by remarks from members of the EU-Jordan trade community stationed in the EU. The contributors discussed a range of issues concerning the current strengths and limitations of the trade relationship, including existing trade agreements, EU demand for Jordanian products, and Jordanian export marketing strategies. The event devoted special discussion to Jordan’s apparel, pharmaceutical, and fresh produce industries.

In her opening remarks, Ms Sirpa Tulla, Head of Economic, Infrastructure and Trade Facilitation at the EU delegation to Jordan emphasised the strong EU-Jordanian ties, “the EU-Jordan partnership priorities are to be renewed shortly and we start a new budget cycle of our development cooperation. A stronger, more inclusive and sustainable trade and investment partnership with Jordan is a paramount interest to us.  Moreover, in the context of the EU trade policy review and the Joint Communication on the Southern Neighbourhood, the EU will explore the interest of the neighbours, to upgrade the trade and investment relations between us and explore possible sustainable investment agreements”.

Dr. Omar Rifai, Director-General of the West Asia-North Africa Institute heralded the dialogue as an important step towards reaching the EU and Jordan’s highest objectives in trade and mutual prosperity. Dr. Omar called for more flexible processes and procedures for Jordanian manufacturers to penetrate the EU market. 

The event’s moderator, Kareem Sharabi, presented findings from the EuroMeSCo survey conducted earlier this year, which asked Jordanians, along with other respondents in the EU and MENA regions about their expectations of interregional relations. Most Jordanian respondents answered that the EU’s added value compared to other global players was its contribution to sustainable and inclusive economic development.  Sharabi mentioned that the persistence of the high trade deficit between the two parties even after the latest trade agreements indicates the need to better identify current limitations, a main objective of the event.



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