Jordan is concerned about the loss of the Iraqi market in favor of Saudi Arabia and Turkey[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
The announcement by the Iraqi government of its desire for economic openness to both Saudi Arabia and Turkey as an alternative to Iran, after the renewal of economic sanctions by the United States, has worried Jordan, which has struggled in recent years to restore the Iraqi market, which for many years remained the export destination of its products .
In an interview with Al-Arabi Al-Jadid newspaper, Al-Iqtisad Al-Jadeed newspaper said that the Jordanian government stood by Iraq's declaration of enhancing economic openness with Saudi Arabia and Turkey without paying attention to Jordan's role in providing a large part of the needs of the Iraqi market. According to the sources, the government will intensify contacts with the Iraqi side in the coming days to remove impediments to the movement of Jordanian exports to the Iraqi market, especially the application of exemptions from customs, which Iraq agreed to grant to more than 500 Jordanian goods .
Iraq has imposed a 30% surcharge on its imports of goods from different countries, but Jordan has requested an exemption from this decision because of the two countries' bilateral free trade agreement. Accordingly, the Iraqi authorities issued a decision to exempt a number of Jordanian products from customs duties. So far .
A Jordanian official said that "Iraqi customs and the border point in the center of Trebil did not respond to a decision issued by the competent authorities to start implementation of the decision, which contributed to the decline of the movement of Jordanian exports to Iraq .
The head of the Jordan Exporters Association Omar Abu Sashaa pointed out that Iraq's approach to economic openness to Saudi Arabia and Turkey after the imposition of sanctions on Iran will have a great impact on Jordan in terms of the difficulty of restoring the Iraqi market .
He added that for several years Jordan has lost the Iraqi market, which for many years remained the first export destination for its products and many Jordanian factories were established until exportation. He pointed to the control of Jordanian goods on the market, while Iraq is moving today to other countries .
He stressed that the government should intensify its contacts with the Iraqi side during this period to remove the obstacles that prevent the flow of Jordanian goods to the Iraqi market .
He did not hide that the strengthening of Iraq's economic relations with Jordan is no longer a priority for him, which requires the search for new export markets for Jordanian products and not rely on specific destinations .
Despite the reopening of the Iraqi crossing of Trebil between the two countries after a closure for several years because of the terrorist acts against the crossing and the control of elements calling on large parts of western Iraq, but Jordanian exports are still below the required level and very far from previous levels .
The value of Jordanian exports to Iraq after the closure of the crossing to less than 700 million dollars a year after it exceeded two billion dollars .
A member of the Committee on Energy in the House of Representatives MP Jamal Gammoh that Iraq's transformation of economic openness to other countries may hamper the implementation of the pipeline project agreed with Jordan several years ago has not been implemented so far .
The economic expert Hossam Ayesh that Jordan believes that the economic openness of Iraq to Saudi Arabia and Turkey will be at his expense, pointing out that the economic and industrial sectors hope to return gradually to the Iraqi market .
He added that this raises the problem of Jordanian-Iraqi relations again, where political coordination divergent and the visits of officials few and even the movement through the border crossings below the level hoped. The Iraqi oil pipeline project is either slowly moving or moving, forcing Jordanian officials to move quickly to open up Jordanian exports to regain their previous share .
He explained that the sweet talk is no longer able to restore the Iraqi market without creating a direct interest of Iraq in the development of trade relations with Jordan, especially that the Jordanian source is the most experienced in the Iraqi market of Saudi Arabia and Turkey .
The head of the Association of Small and Medium Industries Fathi al-Jaghbir that the flow of goods between Jordan and Iraq is still modest despite the reopening of the border as a result of the dangers surrounding the road in the Iraqi part, in addition to not allow trucks to enter the two countries, where the Jordanian and Iraqi trucks exchange cargo inside the trade area .
Al-Jaghbair added that the trade exchange area established on the border between the two countries does not stimulate the increase of exports, especially that some commodities such as food can not be downloaded and loaded several times, and need special storage mechanisms and attention.