Türkiye and Jordan sign long-awaited free trade agreement

Daily Star - Lebanon - Türkiye’s President Abdullah Gul and Jordan’s King Abdullah II signed a long-awaited free trade agreement on Tuesday before holding talks on how to further boost economic relations, according to the Kingdom’s press office. “The free trade agreement we signed is key to enhancing bilateral economic cooperation and boosting trade, as well as investments between Jordan and Türkiye”, a palace statement quoted King Abdullah II as saying as he expressed his views on the deal. The two sides discussed possible ways to strengthen cooperation in the fields of transportation and energy, the statement added. Jordan and Türkiye had been negotiating the free trade agreement since 2005, and last month Jordan’s Prime Minister Nader Dahabi and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed in Ankara to sign it before the end of the year. Trade between the two countries in the first half of 2009 amounted to more than USD 150 million, while Turkish investments in Jordan were estimated at USD 90 million. The two governments also agreed to scrap visa requirements for each other’s nationals, said the palace statement. On Wednesday, Gul inaugurated a USD 990 million, four-year plan to extract 100 million cubic meters of water per annum from the Disi aquifer, an underground water source, in southern Jordan. The project is being carried out by the Turkish firm GAMA.