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Jordan-Canada FTA ’in final stages’

The Jordan Times | 23 June 2009

Jordan-Canada FTA ’in final stages’

By Mohammad Ghazal

AMMAN - The Jordan-Canada Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is expected to be signed “soon”, and will possibly go into effect before the end of 2009, according to Canadian Ambassador in Amman Margaret Huber.

The deal, which is to be the first between an Arab country and Canada, would be ratified by the Canadian parliament, thus providing both countries improved access to markets and "greatly" improving Jordan’s competitive position in the Canadian market, the envoy said in an interview with The Jordan Times last week.

"This is the fastest FTA we have ever negotiated… it will be ratified by our parliament this year. Our parliamentarians, both in government and in opposition, see the great benefit for both sides, Canada and Jordan," Huber said.

She said the Canadian government seeks to table the required legislation in the Canadian parliament soon.

Once finalised, the FTA is expected to secure Jordan preferential trade conditions, including full exemption from customs duties for Jordanian goods entering the Canadian market.

In return, Jordan will reduce customs duties on Canadian products over a transitional period of five years.

The FTA is hoped to further boost bilateral trade exchange, which was described by the ambassador as "exceedingly moderate". Bilateral trade stood at 92 million Canadian dollars (JD57 million) in 2008, according to figures by the Canadian embassy in Amman.

The Canadian envoy said the FTA offers companies on both sides with opportunities to foster cooperation, adding that work is under way between Jordan and Canada to prepare companies in both countries to take advantage of the agreement.

 source: Jordan Times