King Abdullah II Al Hussein of Jordan has promised a liberal regime for visiting Indians and business persons and offered to solve any challenge faced by the visitors that was brought to the notice of the Indian embassy in Amman.
Addressing industry leaders at a business meeting in his honour, organised by FICCI, CII and ASSOCHAM here, King Abdullah said that new opportunities had opened for Indian investors following Jordan’s FTAs with the US, Canada, EU and the Arab countries. He saw huge scope for collaborative ventures between Jordanian and Indian companies in the fields of ICT and agri-business.
Eram Group, which is mainly based in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, a diversified conglomerate mainly operating in Oil & Gas, Power & Utilities, Travel, Food, Healthcare and Automotive sectors, is looking forward to use this opportunity to spread their operations in Jordan too.
“Let’s get things done; do not be bashful in talking to my ministers about the problems you face”, told the Jordan King to the various representatives of Indian industry.
Dr. Siddeek Ahmed, Chairman Eram Group met with His Majesty the King of Jordan on a brief conference during his recent visit to Delhi India on 28th February 2018. The CEO round table was organized by FICCI and attended about 15 prominent CEO’s in India.
Dr. Siddeek Ahmed discussed his business interest with His Majesty King of Jordan about Power Electronics, Travel &Tourism, and Electronic Public Sanitation in the country and King welcomed the interest of Eram Group to invest in Jordan.
Mr. Suresh Prabhu, Minister for Commerce and Industry, in his remarks, spoke of the age-old civilizational ties with Jordan and said, “We consider Jordan as a friendly, welcoming and forward-looking country capable of building bridges with other countries.”
He said the onus was now on the businesses of both countries to leverage creative ideas especially in tourism and entertainment sectors. It would then be the job of the two governments to take the relationship forward, he said and added that the profile of foreign trade was changing globally but it was important to remember that if global trade grows it benefits all.
Mr. V. S. Sahney, Co-Chair, India-Jordan Joint Business Council & Senior FICCI Executive Committee Member and Chairman, Sun Group, stated that there is a need to diversify joint trade in a bid to raise the trade target from the current US$ 1.3 billion to US$ 5 billion by 2025. He said FICCI which has been at the forefront of industry efforts to nurture the India-Jordan relations has participated in activities to deepen people-to-people connect, a vital aspect of the relationship between the two pluralistic societies.
Mr. Sandeep Jajodia, President, ASSOCHAM & Chairman, Monnet Group, noted that Indian businesses can take advantage of Jordan’s strategic location and free trade agreements by making Jordan a hub of textile exports from India. Jordan, he said, offers promising opportunities for the businesses of both sides, especially in new areas of common interest such as education and research, maritime, air and rail transport, renewable energy, smart grid development, IT, higher education and vocational training.
Mr. S. Swaminathan, Member-CII & India Jordan Business Forum and Chief executive & Founder, IRIS Business Services Ltd., emphasised that in view of the potential for raising two-way trade, the target of US$ 5 billion was modest. Jordan, he said, was a hub for tapping other countries in Europe and America; the quality of its people was head and shoulders above those of its neighbours and while other Arab nations were stuck with Arabic, Jordan allows visitors and business persons to feel comfortable with English as the link language.
Corporate MoUs signed
Earlier in the day, Indian industry representatives attended the India-Jordan Business Forum under the auspices of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Jordan Chamber of Commerce (JoCC).
The Forum witnessed the signing of a cooperation agreement between JoCC and FICCI and as many as nine MoUs between top Indian and Jordanian corporates. The MoUs relate to joint ventures and investment in a range of sectors including chemicals, fertilisers, minerals and water treatment.
From the Jordanian side, the Business Forum was addressed, amongst others, by Eng. Yarub Qudah, Minister of Industry, Trade & Supply; Mr. Muhannad Shehadeh, Minister of State for Investment Affairs; Senator Issa Murad, Chairman of Amman Chamber of Commerce, Member of Financial & Economic Committee, Jordan Senate; Mr. Mohammad Tahboub, Member of the Board of Directors of Jordan Chamber of Commerce, Eng. Ahmed Halaiqah, Director General- Jordan Free and Development Zones Group. The high-profile speakers spoke of the investment opportunities in Jordan, special economic zones, ICT, logistics and transport and Indian speakers shared their experience of working with and in Jordan.
Eng. Yarub Qudah stated that the rebuilding of Jordan post the influx of refugees from Syria was a big investment opportunity for India. Indian investors, he said, should cash in on the customs free access to over a million people and capitalise on targeting the US and Canadian markets, given the FTAs that Jordan has with these countries.
Mr. V. S. Sahney, FICCI Executive Committee Member and Chairman, Sun Group, emphasised the need to utilise the US$ 100 million line of credit extended by India to Jordan for setting up joint ventures and partnerships.
Senator Nael Al Kabariti, Chairman, Jordan Chamber of Commerce, in his remarks, stated that the Business Forum opens a new window of cooperation for corporates from Jordan and India. He stressed the need to look beyond just trade in goods and aim at building capabilities in the two countries in the fields of IT, Education, Science and Knowledge Industries.
The Cooperation Agreement between JoCC and FICCI envisages steps to promote and strengthen the expansion of trade, economic, scientific, technological cooperation and other business relations between enterprises, entrepreneurs and organizations of Jordan and India. It proposes the establishment of a Joint Business Council to strengthen the business relations to increase the volume of trade and encourage investments and joint ventures in both countries. The agreement was signed by Senator Nael Al Kabariti, Chairman, Jordan Chamber of Commerce and Ms. Ambika Sharma, Director General International, FICCI.
The nine MoUs between corporates from the two sides are:
- Arab Potash Co., Jordan & Indian Potash Limited (IPL)
- Arab Potash Co., Jordan & Zuari Agro Chemicals Limited
- Jordan Phosphate Mines Company Plc. (JPMC) & Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Ltd. (IFFCO)
- Jordan Phosphate Mines Company Plc. (JPMC) & Vedanta in transactions related to Rock Phosphate and Sulphuric Acid
- Jordan Phosphate Mines Company Plc. (JPMC) & Wilson International Pte Ltd, Greenstar Fertilisers Ltd.
- Jordan Phosphate Mines Company Plc. (JPMC) & Indian Potash Ltd. (IPL)
- Jordan Phosphate Mines Company Plc. (JPMC) & Adani Enterprises Ltd.
- Jordan Phosphate Mines Company Plc. (JPMC) & Smartchem Technologies Limited (STL)
- DECCAN water treatment PVT Ltd and Mohammed Yassin Kilani & Partners Co.