Prime Minister His Highness Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah’s visit to
Jordan, due tomorrow at invitation of Prime Minister Omar Razzaz, reaffirmed
deep-rooted multi-faceted relations. The visit coincide with the joint
committee meeting, which would co-chaired by the foreign ministers and is
expected to result in a number of economic, trade and investment agreements.
His Highness the Prime Minister is also expected to inaugurate Kuwait Embassy’s
new building in Amman.
Kuwait and Jordan, established in 1961, have progressed in many domains and the
two countries are committed to 57 cooperation agreements covering many areas.
The two countries have been coordinating positions over many regional issues,
including the Palestinian question where Kuwait and Jordan are staunch
supporters of the Palestinian right of freedom and to establish their
independent state on the June 4, 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its
capital. Kuwait and Jordan rejected, at the Arab Summit in Saudi Arabia and the
Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, the US
decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem. Kuwait,
through its 2018-19 non-permanent membership in UN Security Council (UNSC) as a
representative of the Arab Group, was a solid supporter of the Palestinian
in the vital role of Jordan in achieving peace and stability in the Middle
East, and supported Amman’s protection of Jerusalem. Kuwait’s parliament played
a leading role in supporting the Palestinian cause. Kuwait parliament speaker
Marzouq Al-Ghanem and president of Jordan’s House of Nobles Faisal Al-Fayez
affirmed, during a meeting in Kuwait last month, the importance of coordination
to address challenges facing the region.
As for trade
ties, Kuwait-Jordan trade exchange registered $270 million in November, 2018,
according to ministry of industry and trade. Jordan imports plastic,
non-organic chemical materials, steel, copper, fuel and oil. Kuwait imports
livestock, vegetables, nuts, eggs, dairy products and some house appliances.
The two countries signed many cooperation agreements, including air services in
1975, prevention of dual taxation on income of corporates and airlines in 1985,
economic and trade and technical deal in 1986, encouraging and protecting
investment in 2001, land transport in 2002 and establishment of a joint
committee in 2002.
Kuwait and Jordan
also signed tourism agreement in 2007, sea transport deal in 2009, the
development of industrial exports and organization of exhibitions agreement in
2010 and a protocol to attract foreign direct investment in 2011, among many
others.The number of Kuwaitis registered at Amman Chamber of Commerce is 82.
They are investing $330 million in information technology and communications,
services and consultations, construction and banking.
Kuwait is the top
Arab and foreign investor in Jordan with $18 billion, distributed on tourism,
industry, banks, telecommunication, real estate and transport.Among Kuwaiti
investments in Jordan is Al-Abdali Mall of Kuwait Projects Company, KIPCO,
Jordan-Kuwait Bank and Noor company. Kuwait is also investing $1.418 billion in
Amman’s stock market, the third largest foreign investor, while Kuwaitis own
126 real estates in 2017, the fourth largest amongst non-Jordanians.
Kuwait Fund for
Arab Economic Development (KFAED) contributed to 26 economic and social development
projects with a value of $580 million between 1962-2017. KFAED is also
responsible for the disbursement of $1.250 billion, which is Kuwait’s share in
financing strategic and development project, part of a GCC financial package to
Jordan, in sectors of agriculture, energy, minerals, roads, education, health,
water and transport.
Kuwait built LNG
Port that will address energy crisis, establish wind power farm in Ma’an as
well as other infrastructure projects in different governorates that contributed
to creation of thousands of jobs.Kuwait also offered a $billion for Jordan,
part of $2.5 billion economic package by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab
Emirates (UAE), in forms of donations and loans. Kuwait deposited $500 million
at Jordan Central Bank and the rest was in forms of loans for five years. Total
Kuwaiti deposits at Jordan’s Central Bank is $1.3 billion.
The Syrian crisis
forced millions of people to flee to neighboring countries, including Jordan
which is hosting around 1.3 million Syrian refugees. Kuwait rushed to help the
Syrians and KFAED offered $58 million grants in 2014-16 to support the
Jordanian government’s response plan. Kuwait government and private
institutions offered relentless support for the Syrian refugees, either
directly or via the government of Amman. Kuwait built two villages named after
His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in Zaatari
refugee camp, each houses more than 80,000 Syrian refugees. A village consists
of 1,000 housing units, a mosque, two schools and a medical center.
On the other
hand, Kuwait and Jordan enjoy good military cooperation. The two countries
renewed military cooperation agreement during a meeting of the joint higher
committee last March. Military cooperation began in 1974 when Kuwait opened an
attache in Jordan, paving way for the training of more than 8,000 Kuwaiti
servicemen in Jordanian institutions up to date. Hundreds of Kuwaitis register
at Jordanian educational institutions, while over 4,200 men and women study at
Jordanian universities. Kuwait Health Office in Amman is also following up
cases of Kuwaiti patients in the country.
In the meantime,
the head of the brotherly Kuwaiti-Jordanian commission in the Jordanian
parliament MP Haitham Al-Zyadeen arrived in Kuwait yesterday. The ranking
legislator, accompanied by a delegation, has just begun a four-day official
visit to the country. ‘Al-Dustoor’ news network said the Jordanian delegation
was welcomed at the airport by the head of the mission of honor MP Al-Humaidi
Al-Subaiee, and the deputy Jordanian ambassador to Kuwait Fadi Al-Abadi. – KUNA