Ammon News –
Amman Chamber of Commerce (ACC) President Khalil Haj Tawfiq called for a focus on pan-Arab economic cooperation and integration, led by the private sector, which should be supported by Arab governments to facilitate its work.
Speaking at the 17th Turkish-Arab Economic Cooperation Summit, which concluded on Friday evening, in the Turkish city of Istanbul, he said: “Integration must take place in its first stage between the institutions of the sector Arab private sector, which currently lack coordination”.
According to an ACC statement on Saturday, Haj Tawfiq said that the Arab private sector “operates without a compass due to the existence of multiple references, despite the availability of many commonalities and investment opportunities in various countries, which do not are still not understood”.
The Arab private sector, he noted, is “professionally and morally obligated” to achieve pan-Arab economic integration, especially in the difficult circumstances facing food security, which is tied to prices and the capacity of citizens to buy food.
To push cooperation, he called for holding a special meeting in the Kingdom for Arab private sector actors to orchestrate efforts and achieve integration.
On actions to achieve these goals, he said each country should identify investment opportunities and benefits within clear plans to be adopted by all states.
Furthermore, he noted that the ACC is “fully” ready to host this proposed meeting as soon as possible and invite Arab private sector institutions to come up with a plan engaging governments in investment projects.
He also highlighted the need to create a private body, which could be a joint economic council or an Arab union to orchestrate the efforts of the Arab private sector, especially in light of global economic difficulties, challenges related to climate change, rising energy and commodity prices, and supply chain imbalances.
Haj Tawfiq recommended the creation of an Arab data bank, which would provide a database of investments, a map, benefits and project costs for each Arab country.
Locally, Haj Tawfiq said Jordan’s vision for economic modernization is a roadmap for the next ten years, highlighting the government’s efforts to complete a new investment law to improve the business climate in Jordan. Kingdom, in light of its stability and trade agreements signed with various global economic blocs. .
He also stressed the need to revive the Turkish-Jordanian Free Trade Agreement (FTA) suspended in 2018.
Elaborating on the influence of the removal of the FTA, he said the Kingdom’s imports from Turkey amounted to $683 million in 2017, compared to $140 million in exports, while imports increased over the past year to reach $691 million, compared to $98 million in exports.
In this regard, he noted that any disproportion in the trade balance between Jordan and Turkey could be corrected by establishing exceptional lists to protect Jordanian industries.
Regarding measures to enhance cooperation, Haj Tawfiq called on Jordanian traders and investors to participate in international, regional and Arab forums and exhibitions to familiarize themselves with the products of participating countries, seize opportunities to establish business partnerships, create networks with companies and open new markets.
Investing in Palestine is “a national and religious duty”, with the aim of supporting the steadfastness of the Palestinian people, in light of Israel’s practices and its continued attempts to control the Palestinian economy.