Jordan’s exports to Canada went up by 21.75% over 25 years-Envoy

During the last 25 years, Jordanian exports to Canada have increased at an annualized rate of 21.75%, from $885,000 in 1997 to $121.4mln in 2021, Canadian Ambassador to Jordan, Donica Pottie, said.

Canadian exports for the same period of 25 years have only increased by an average of 5.76%. In 2021, Canada exported only $59.7 M to Jordan, she added.

In an interview with “Petra” on Saturday, on the occasion of her country’s national day, she said Jordan is the only Arab country with which Canada has signed a Free Trade Agreement. The FTA came into force in 2012. In addition, the two countries have also signed labour, double taxation, Environment and Investment agreements.

On the FTA, there is a lot of untapped potential, she pointed out.

For the past three years, she noted the Embassy has promoted the FTA with the objective to increase bilateral trade.

The Embassy, she said, has conducted webinars and in person seminars in Amman, Aqaba, and in Canada, to increase awareness of the FTA, and promote opportunities to business people on both sides.

Canada is supporting Jordanian Small and Medium Enterprises (SME), and Manufacturers through the Trade Facilitation Office (TFO) which has held 2 workshops in Amman to help Jordanian exporters and empower businesswomen improve their export capabilities to export to Canada and to other markets, she pointed out.

The Embassy has been cooperating with Aqaba Specialized Economic Zone (ASEZA) and Aqaba Development Corporation (ADC) to highlight the importance of Aqaba port as an excellent hub and entry point to the Middle-Eastern markets, for Canadian exporters. This is starting to yield some positive results, she said.

In 2016, she added Canada stepped up its support to Jordan to help the Kingdom cope with the influx of refugees caused by the war in Syria, and bolstered its efforts to combat and prevent violent extremism and terrorist threats posed by Daesh.

Between 2016 and 2022, she noted Canada invested over $4 billion to respond to the crises in Iraq and Syria, and address their impact on Lebanon, Jordan and the region. This included supporting Jordan’s efforts to build the resilience of individuals, communities and institutions through better access to quality education, sustainable economic growth (with a focus on economic reform and the empowerment of women and youth), and inclusive governance, including improved municipal services.

Canada has committed over $575.7 million for Jordan since 2016. This includes $298 million in development assistance; $209.8 million in humanitarian assistance; and $67.9 million in civilian stabilization and security assistance, she added.

Jordan has had an embassy in Canada since 1975 and diplomatic relations between the two friendly countries were established in 1964. From 1964 until 1982 ambassadors of Canada to Jordan were resident in Beirut (Lebanon). Since 1982, the embassy has grown its operations and mission staff three fold, she noted.

Jordan, she said, is a key partner for Canada in the Middle East and the two countries have a longstanding friendship built across decades. Canada and Jordan also share strong people-to-people links through the Jordanian-Canadian community, Jordanian students in Canada, and Canadians living and working in Jordan. Being an important regional partner, Jordan is the only Arab country with which Canada has a free trade agreement.

Canada commends the work of H.M. King Abdullah in establishing the Aqaba Process to enhance international coordination and cooperation in countering terrorism and extremism, she noted.

Continuing: “It is a useful mechanism to coordinate efforts both inside the region and beyond, recognizing that this is a global threat.

The Aqaba Process has made important contributions to global efforts. For example, it identified early on issues with social media and then held meetings in California with the major platforms.”

In addition, she noted the Process was also the first fora to hold a meeting on the ways extremism could try to use the pandemic to further their goals.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was pleased to accept His Majesty’s invitation to attend the virtual Aqaba Process heads of state and government meeting in 2020, she pointed out.

Our partnership with Jordan includes funding from Canada’s Counter-Terrorism Capacity Building Program (CTCBP). A Canadian Armed Forces Training Assistance Team (CTAT) is based in Jordan to support capacity-building in the Jordanian Armed Forces. Other initiatives to support the Jordanian Armed Forces include a rehabilitated military border road that covers over 63 kilometers and 11 renovated border towers along the Jordan-Syria frontier, she noted.

Canada is also delivering specialized firearms, search and medical training to build the capacity of female police officers in critical incident response. This initiative, delivered alongside technical assistance to the Gender Unit within Jordan’s Public Security Directorate, supports Jordan’s National Action Plan (JONAP) for advancing the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (UNSCR 1325), she added.

Canada is committed to supporting Jordan’s capacity to provide internal security and defend its borders. Canada and Jordan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on defence cooperation in the spring of 2012 and our two armed forces have a close relationship, according to Pottie.

Moreover, she noted MoUs on preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction and related materials, and on increasing security and stabilization cooperation were signed in 2013 and 2016 respectively.

Canada and Jordan are both founding supporters of the “Christchurch Call to Action to Eliminate Terrorist and Violent Extremist Content Online,” she said.

On refuge issue, she noted hosting such a large number of refugees places enormous pressures on infrastructure and services. Jordan has been generous in supporting Palestinian, Iraqi and, more recently, Syrian refugees.

Canada, she noted, recognizes Jordan’s generosity and we are contributing to Jordan’s investment in education, health and job creation, for both refugees and host communities.

Through development and humanitarian assistance programs, Canada supports the Government of Jordan’s efforts to provide a safe haven for over 660,000 registered Syrian refugees who have taken sanctuary in the country, according to the envoy.

Canada, she said, is a resettlement country and Jordan offers a safe environment from which families can be processed for resettlement in Canada.

On Canada’s position on the Palestinian issue and Jordanian role with regard to peace efforts and the Hashemite guardianship over holy sites in Jerusalem, she noted Canada supports a two-state solution. Canada also strongly supports the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan’s custodianship over Jerusalem’s sanctities.

Source: Jordan News Agency

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