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    Hashemite Kingdom renews trade

    July 02, 2014

    The Hashemite Kingdom wants to renew its trade with Sri Lanka-with no less than a Joint Commission meet at its end. “Let us now get really practical. It is time to activate 2007 Agreement and start vigorous bilateral trade. We are open to all suggestions from Sri Lanka” said a keen Hassan Al Jawarneh (Delhi based Ambassador of Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to Sri Lanka) on Tuesday (July 01) in Colombo.

    Jawarneh was addressing Rishad Bathiudeen. Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka during his courtesy  call on Minister Bathiudeen at EDB. According to the Department of Commerce, Sri Lanka’s trade with Jordan has considerably increased over the years. The total trade which stood at $ 26.19 Mn in 2002, has increased to $ 44.50 Mn in 2013. The balance of trade has been in favor of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s major export item to Jordan is tea, contributing to more than 81% of Sri Lanka’s total exports to Jordan. Sri Lanka is the largest tea supplier to Jordan. Jordan is also fourth largest buyer of tea bags from Sri Lanka. Other Lankan export items being coconut, cashew nuts, sewing thread and pepper. Three Sri Lankan firms-MAS, DIP Apparels, and EAM Maliban Textiles Jordan - are already successfully operating their plants in Jordan. On the other hand, in 2013, Jordan itself has invested US $ 0.287 Mn in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is also a key human resource supplier to Jordan-more than 40000 Lankan expatriate workers are currently employed in the Kingdom.


    “We signed the new bilateral Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement in 2007 replacing previous agreement of 1965. Let us now get really practical. It is time to re-activate 2007 Agreement and start vigorous bilateral trade. The last JC meeting was held in Colombo in 2008. We are open to all suggestions from Sri Lanka including trade expansion, B2B delegations, and even trade fairs” said (HE) Jawarneh and added: “The last Joint Commission meeting was held in Colombo and it’s now time for you to come to the Kingdom of Jordan for the next Joint Commission meeting for which we invite you, preferably during this year. We can start the exchange of regular business delegations along with the JC re-activation. We are also well known as a supplier of fertiliser and related resources such as phosphates. We invite Sri Lankan agro importers to avail of our abundant supplies.”


    The current bilateral trade volumes at $44 Mn shows the existence of huge unrealised potentials between the two countries said Minister Bathiudeen responding to  Jawarneh,and added: “Low cost fertiliser supplies from Jordan can help our agro sector as well. I also view that it is time for the follow up of JC since 2008 been a long time. We look forward to wider exports from Sri Lanka beyond tea, which is our main supply to Jordan. I am pleased to note that our firms operating in Jordan have shown successful manufacturing outcomes. We look forward to arrange a strong trade delegation to Jordan which could also cover the Joint Commission sessions.”


    Jawarneh and Minister Bathiudeen also delved into other aspects of cooperation between both countries.(KH/SI)


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