Jordan's Foreign Trade Policy
Jordan’s foreign trade policy is based on the norms of economic openness and integration into the rapidly globalizing world economy. It incorporates the country’s vision and positiveness in viewing economic partnerships as necessarily achieving both mutual interests and fair dividends. Jordan has made giant strides on the path of economic and trade liberalization in addition to reinforcing mechanisms and functioning of a market-oriented economy that is built on an active role of the private sector in managing economic activities. This was made possible through an intensive reform process bringing about a modern and conducive regulatory environment for business and investment.
Today, Jordan is at the forefront of the Middle Eastern liberal economies that gained wide respect and recognition for their reforms and economic endeavors. In fact, Jordan is cited as an example in economic policy for emerging nations that could creatively overcome the dilemmas of the scarcity of material and natural resources. In such a short time, Jordan managed to nurture its economic ties with its neighboring Arab countries through joining the Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA) and signing a number of bilateral trade agreements; enter into an association agreement with the European Union; sign a free trade agreement with the United States of America soon after successfully joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2000; as well as sign free trade agreements with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries and Singapore.
Moreover, and in an effort to further enhance the investment environment in the country, Jordan concluded over 35 agreements on protection and promotion of investments and over (30) agreements on the avoidance of double taxation with Arab and non-Arab countries. Jordan is also a signatory to several economic and trade cooperation agreements with countries all over the world. Such agreements established joint committees that meet regularly and provide means for developing and strengthening trade relations between Jordan and its trading partners.
All those developments will contribute positively to enhancing Jordan’s export potential and complementing its efforts to attract foreign investments. The country’s trade policy is sought to utilize such outcomes in a way to serve as the engine for growth and a means to improve Jordanians welfare and standards of living.
Jordan finished with success the first review of its trade policy within the framework of the World Trade Organization during the period 10-12/11/2008, which is first review since Jordan's accession to the WTO in 2000.
In its statement addressed to the trade policy review body and the Member States Jordan shed the light on the importance of the role played by the review mechanism in promoting the principle of transparency and deepening the understanding of Member States of the policies exercised by the member under review. The revision was conducted for the reforms made by Jordan to promote its economy and make it among the advanced countries since the adoption of the policy of economic liberalization, which led to economic growth despite the various challenges facing the Jordanian economy; mainly poverty, unemployment and inflation as well as the current global financial crisis. Jordan also highlighted its next steps to further liberalize the economy to ensure full integration in the world economy and stressed its commitment to fulfill all its obligations under the World Trade Organization, which have contributed positive results in terms of economic growth and increased exports.
During the meeting many of the Member States praised, the policy of economic openness and liberalization of trade regime adopted by Jordan during the past few years, the Government's efforts in improving the business environment resulting in high rates of growth in gross domestic product as a result of steady growth in the volume of Jordanian exports as well as attract a lot of Arab and foreign investments, also commended the leading role of H.M. King Abdullah II in promoting trade and economic relations through several royal visits to various countries and regions of the world and his persistent effort in promoting and enhancing Jordan's trade and economic relations with countries worldwide.
The trade policy review was concluded by the report of the Chairman of trade policy review body, in which he praised economic reforms implemented by Jordan in light of the positive observations and appraisal of the Member States.