Israel and Jordan sign agreement to increase Jordanian exports to the West Bank

Israel and Jordan signed an agreement on Wednesday to increase the Hashemite Kingdom’s exports to the West Bank, in a move that will help the weakened economies of Jordan and Palestine.

Economy Minister Orna Barbivay, who signed the agreement on behalf of Israel, traveled to Jordan for the occasion. It was the first such visit by an Israeli finance minister in a decade.

The agreement, which was first published in September, was part of the water agreement between Israel and Jordan. The trade deal increases Jordanian exports to Palestinian areas of the West Bank from $ 160 million to $ 700 million. The Palestinian Authority will also have to sign the agreement before it can be implemented.

Jordanian exports to the West Bank will include cement, construction products, carpets, clothing and electronics.

According to the Jordan News Agency, some 425 products will now be duty-free in the Palestinian market as specified by the Palestinian Authority, and another 32 products will be exempt from customs duties as per Israeli requirements.

Orna Barbivay at the presidential meeting (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM / THE JERUSALEM POST)

Separately, at the Barbivay meeting with Jordan’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply, Yousef Alshamali, near the Dead Sea, he discussed ways to strengthen economic ties between Israel and Jordan through the expansion of trade and tourism.

“The trade benefits agreed today between the Israeli government and Jordan are an important dimension in strengthening diplomatic relations between the two countries,” Barbivay said.

“The deepening of civil and economic ties contributes to bilateral relations, national security and the protection of Israel’s longest and quietest border,” Barbivai said.

The Ambassador to Jordan, Eitan Sorkis, and the Ambassador of Jordan, Rassan al-Majali, also attended the meeting.

Since taking office in May, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has worked to repair the deteriorating relationship between the two countries. He and President Isaac Herzog have both met with Jordan’s King Abdullah in recent months. Foreign Minister Yair Lapid has similarly met with his Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi.

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