|Jordan, Russia sign economic deals
|Jordan and Russia in the presence of His Majesty King Abdullah II and Russian President Vladimir Putin have signed four agreements. The agreements seek to expand the basis of cooperation in private and public sectors and enhance trade between the two friendly countries. |
In the economic field, the two countries have signed an agreement to encourage and protect exchange investments between Russian and Jordanian businesspeople.
The agreement was signed by Minister of Industry and Trade Salem Khazaa’leh on behalf of Jordan and Russian Deputy Minister of Trade and Economic Development on behalf of Russia.
In the industrial and military field, an agreement Tuesday to purchase six Russian KA-226 helicopters worth JD25 million was signed on Tuesday between Russian OPK Oboronprom JSC and King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau (KADDB).
KADDB Chief Commissioner, Dr Moayad Samman, and, Director General of Oboronprom, Mr Denis Manturov, signed the agreement. A joint Russian-Jordanian venture will be entitled to overhaul and repair KA-226s and procure its spare parts. A pilot and technician training center will also be set up to provide regional customers with accessible helicopter training.
The six helicopters will be used in the fields of medical services, insecticide spraying, and transport and cargo.
The Ka-226 light multi-purpose helicopter is designed to carry out emergency missions in urban and congested areas, and is capable of taking off and landing on small, unprepared grounds. The dimensions of the helicopter are minimal and it has no tail rotor, which excludes any damage from obstacles and is safer for ground personnel.
The joint Jordanian-Russian venture, is to be located within the boundaries of Queen Alia International Airport over a 400-dunum area, and is expected to start this year.
Russian Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister Vitaly Savelyev signed an intergovernmental agreement to encourage and jointly protect capital investments with Jordan’s Industry and Trade Minister Salem Khazaa’leh.
Under another deal Russian Lada car manufacturer, Avtovaz Corporation and Jordan’s General Vehicle Industrial Co. signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to carry out a feasibility study on setting up an assembly plant for the production of Lada cars in Jordan. The MoU envisions an assembly line with a capacity of 30,000 vehicles per year. In the meantime, Avtovaz will supply the Jordanian market with at least 3,000 vehicles a year for sale in the Middle East and Africa. Jordan has agreed to offer tax cuts for importing Russian produced cars and assembly components. Avtovaz increased its total exports by 10.7 percent to 186,000 units in 2006. It plans to export 200,000 cars and components this year.
In addition, President of Amman Chamber of Commerce, Haidar Murad and President of Jordanian-Russian Business Council, Yevgeny Novitsky have signed an agreement, which seeks to bolster the role of the private sector in both countries. Murad said the agreement stipulates exchange visits, information and flow of investments as well as joint ventures.
In a joint press conference following his talks with Putin, the Monarch urged Russia to support the G-11 initiative launched last year, which consists of a group of countries whose economies are poised to stabilize at higher income levels.
“We are working together and partnering with countries of the developing world to make this happen. The G-11 will meet on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Jordan in May, and would like to establish an institutional framework of cooperation with the G-8. We look forward to Russia’s support for the initiative,” King Abdullah said.
Minister of Industry and Trade Salem Kazaa’leh, who chaired the first session of the Jordanian-Russian Business Council, called for increasing Jordanian exports to Russia, such as pharmaceuticals, garments, olive oil and Dead Sea products, among others. He said it was important to increase the trade volume between the two countries, which totaled $104 million in 2006. Jordan’s annual exports to Russia total $3 million according to 2005 official figures
Also on Tuesday, the Russian president visited the Baptism Site in Jordan, where he toured the area and visited St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church, accompanied by the King’s Personal Envoy & Special Adviser and Chairperson of the Baptism Site board of trustees, HRH Prince Ghazi Bin Muhammad, plus Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Osama Dabbas.
President Putin said the Russian government will finance the construction of a guest house for Russian pilgrims on a 10-dunum plot on the east bank of River Jordan, which will be managed by the Russian Orthodox Church. Around 100,000 Russian tourists visited the country last year.