Jordanian-Canadian FTA in final stages of approval - envoy

Zawya, Jordan

Jordanian-Canadian FTA in final stages of approval - envoy

By Mohammad Ghazal

30 November 2010

AMMAN - The implementing legislation for the Jordanian-Canadian Free Trade Agreement (FTA) - and the side agreements on environment and labour - is currently in the final stages of approval in the Canadian parliament, according to Canada’s ambassador in Amman.

At the launch of the FTA late Sunday, Canadian Ambassador to Jordan Mark Gwozdecky said both political parties have indicated their support for the FTA, which the two countries signed in June 2009.

Under the FTA, Jordanian products will enter the Canadian market free of customs duties as of the date the agreement goes into effect, which is expected in 2011. Canadian products will benefit from a gradual decrease in tariffs over a span of three to four years.

"In Canada’s case, Jordan is the only country in the Arab world where we have decided to pursue free trade," the envoy said, stressing the importance of the deal in bolstering bilateral trade and cooperation.

The FTA secures Jordan preferential trade conditions, including full exemption from customs duties for Jordanian goods entering the market of the North American country.

In return, Jordan will reduce customs duties on Canadian-made products over a transitional period of five years.

In his speech, the ambassador said Jordan is already an important market for Canadian businesses, noting that many Canadian companies already have a solid presence in the Jordanian marketplace.

According to the Canadian embassy, volume of bilateral trade stood at 81 million Canadian dollars in 2009, compared to 92 million in 2008.

From January to September 2010, Canadian exports to Jordan have increased by 24 per cent while exports from Jordan to Canada have increased by 38 per cent, said the ambassador, adding: "This is happening even before the FTA has entered into force. "

The FTA, he said, is expected to increase trade opportunities for Canadian companies in both the Jordanian market and the broader Middle East through the Greater Arab Free Trade Agreement.

"We are also hoping that the existing Foreign Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement already signed between our two countries will allow Canadian companies to invest in Jordan, making Jordan the ideal partner for Canadian companies who wish to enter the Middle-East," Gwozdecky said.

He added that the FTA represents a great opportunity for Canadian consumers, who will now have access to fine Jordanian products at a much better price.

He added that the FTA represents a great opportunity for Canadian consumers, who will now have access to fine Jordanian products at a much better price.

Ministry of Industry and Trade Secretary General Maha Al Ali, who underlined the significance of the deal for both countries, stated that Jordan is keen to implement the FTA in 2011.

"The FTA is very important to Jordan as it will increase trade volume and enable Jordanian products to penetrate Canadian markets. We also expect the deal to increase Canadian investments in the Kingdom," she said.

keywords:
source: