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Emirati-Jordanian partnership: Engine of sustainable development in region

At the forefront of the link between the two countries are a strong set of investment and development partnerships (WAM)
2 Nov 2023 09:10

Ahmed Murad (Cairo) - The UAE and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan have demonstrated great commitment to their bilateral partnership, which aims to achieve prosperity, progress, and sustainable development, not only for the people of both countries, but also for the people of the Arab region.

The leaders of both countries have expressed their keenness to continue coordination and consultation on efforts to further sustainable development and regional partnerships. Around 50 years ago, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan was among the first countries to establish diplomatic, political, economic, and development relations with the UAE following its establishment on December 2, 1971.

Since then, the UAE and Jordan have been linked by deep-rooted and strong relations, first established by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and the late King of Jordan, His Majesty King Hussein bin Talal.

Over the past five decades, the two countries have continued this trajectory, broadening and solidifying relations in an effort to promote sustainable development. In the present day, President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan continually support efforts to strengthen Emirati-Jordanian relations through dialogue, high-level meetings, and various committees, such as the Joint Economic Committee.

Development and Prosperity

At the forefront of the link between the two countries are a strong set of investment and development partnerships. During his visit to Jordan in August, President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan emphasised the importance of working with Jordan to achieve sustainable development. “The UAE and Jordan are partners in working towards sustainable development and regional prosperity, and they share common visions to achieve sustainable development for their brotherly peoples and establish prosperity for all the peoples of the region,” His Highness said.

Two years prior, President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan received King Abdullah II in Abu Dhabi on January 16, 2021. During the reception, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed said: “Deep bonds of brotherhood and established relations unite the UAE and Jordan, and we are keen to enhance them in various fields for the benefit of our peoples, and in a way that serves development and prosperity in the region.”

Integrated Partnerships

In recent years, the UAE and Jordan have launched a new phase of integrated strategic development partnerships in a variety of areas, including government performance modernisation and improving the public sector institutional work system.

The partnership has also extended to cooperating on developing government services, smart services, institutional performance, innovation, developing leadership, enhancing competencies, building accelerators, performance systems, and building exemplary government centres.

Beyond integrating existing areas of coordination, both countries have worked to innovate avenues of cooperation to allow the relative advantages of each country to be utilised to the benefit of both nations. The two countries also serve as important partners to one another in responding to common challenges and global crises, particularly on vital issues related to national security, food, health, and energy.

Last year, the UAE, Jordan, Egypt, and Bahrain signed the “Integrated Industrial Partnership Agreement for Sustainable Economic Development,” which aims to further the industrial development and economic diversification processes to provide promising opportunities for future generations.

An investment fund with a value of $10 billion was allocated under the partnership agreement to invest in projects in agreed-upon sectors.

Joint Initiatives

In the framework of the development partnerships and other joint sustainable development initiatives, UAE is keen to provide all forms of support to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

This commitment is exemplified in projects such as the UAE-funded Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan Training City project in Zarqa Governorate, which was inaugurated by Prince Hussein bin Abdullah II, Crown Prince of Jordan, in March 2020. The Abu Dhabi Development Fund has contributed Dh6.5 billion in financing for a multitude of development projects in Jordan, covering education, health, transportation, energy, agriculture, irrigation, housing, infrastructure, and other strategic projects.

In appreciation for the UAE’s support and in recognition of the friendly ties linking the two nations, many institutions in Jordan bear the name of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. In November 2018, King Abdullah II named Jordan’s Rapid Intervention Brigade after His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in a grand ceremony at Amman’s Husseiniya Palace, which was attended by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed.

Economic Ties

Economic relations between the two nations have been driven by these close ties, as is reflected in the Dh101.2 billion in trade volume between the countries from 2010 to 2022, according to data issued by the UAE Ministry of Economy.

The data showed a remarkable growth of over 800% in trade volume during the specified period, highlighting the efforts of both countries to deepen economic ties. Direct investments from the UAE in Jordan measure around Dh62.2 billion, and comprise projects in over 30 fields, including air and land transport, the financial and banking sector, the industrial sector, tourism, agriculture, real estate, renewable energy, infrastructure, and information technology and communications.

Jordanian direct investments in the UAE stand at around Dh4.5 billion, covering the financial, insurance, real estate, manufacturing, construction, wholesale, and retail trade sectors. There are 1,901 Jordanian trademarks registered in the UAE, along with 20 registered commercial agencies.

Over the past several years, the UAE and Jordan have signed many agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoUs), including an agreement to establish a joint ministerial committee, an economic, trade, and technical cooperation agreement, a memorandum of understanding to establish a free trade area, and an agreement to encourage and protect mutual investments.

In September 2021, AD Ports Group and the Aqaba Development Corporation signed a developmental maritime project agreement which provides for the establishment of an advanced tourist ship station at Marsa Zayed in Jordan’s port city, Aqaba. In 2017, the two countries signed around 12 agreements and MoUs to support bilateral relations in all fields.

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