Jordan, Turkey sign free trade deal

AFP | 1 December 2009

Jordan, Turkey sign free trade deal

AMMAN — Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Jordan’s King Abdullah II signed a long-awaited free trade deal on Tuesday before holding talks on further boosting economic ties, the palace said.

"The free trade agreement, which was signed today, is key to enhancing bilateral economic cooperation and boosting trade as well as investments between Jordan and Turkey," a palace statement quoted the king as telling Gul.

"The two sides discussed efforts to strengthen cooperation in the fields of transport and energy," the statement added.

Jordan and Turkey had been negotiating the free trade deal since 2005, and last month Prime Minister Nader Dahabi and his 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 this year amounted to more than 150 million dollars, while Turkish investments in Jordan were estimated at 90 million dollars.

The two governments also agreed to scrap visa requirements for each other’s nationals, the palace statement said.

On Wednesday, Gul is scheduled to inaugurate a 990-million-dollar plan to extract 100 million cubic metres (3.5 billion cubic feet) of water a year from the 300,000-year-old Disi aquifer in southern Jordan.

The four-year-project is being carried out by the Turkish company GAMA.

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source: AFP