(MENAFN- Jordan Times)
AMMAN - Indo-Jordanian ties are marked by strong bonds of understanding and co-operation, according to New Delhi's Ambassador in Amman Anwar Haleem.
In an interview with The Jordan Times on the occasion of India's 74th Republic Day, which falls on Thursday, the envoy said that India considers Jordan a“very important partner” in the region.
“Both of our countries are committed to multilateralism, share common concerns in international fora and strive for global peace and stability. Our exchanges and interactions have diversified in terms of depth, substance and content in recent years,” Haleem said.
“Our relationship has been an ascendant partnership, which continues to grow unabated even during the difficult times of COVID-19,” he said.
Bilateral ties between the two nations cover a wide range of areas, including political cooperation, trade and investment, technology, culture, health, agri-commodities, textile, chemicals and fertilisers, defence and security, development partnership, among others, the ambassador said.
The ambassador attributed the flourishing partnership to the“sustained focus and guidance” provided by His Majesty King Abdullah and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He also highlighted a series of high-level visits between representatives of both countries. In May 2022, Indian Minister of Chemical & Fertilisers Mansukh Mandaviya visited Jordan to further enhance bilateral cooperation in the fertiliser sector. Mandaviya met with Minister of Investment Khairy Amr, Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply Yousef Shamali and Minister of Health Feras Al Hawari. On the sidelines of the visit, agreements worth $2.5 billion were signed between the Jordan Phosphate Mining Company (JPMC), the Arab Potash Company (APC) and Indian fertiliser companies and manufacturers, Haleem noted.
Regarding trade ties, the ambassador said that over the years, bilateral trade has grown rapidly despite a global economic downturn with India emerging as Jordan's fourth largest trading partner in 2021.
In Financial Year 2021-22 (i.e. from April 2021-March 2022) bilateral trade was valued at all time high at $2.716 billion, recording an exceptional annual growth of 60.13 per cent, with India's exports to Jordan amounting to $889.2 million and imports from Jordan amounting to $1827.19 million, he said.
India is a long-term exporter to Jordan in food items, mechanical and electrical goods, engineering products, gems and jewellery, oil products and leather, while Jordan is a reliable supplier of fertilisers, phosphates, phosphoric acid, among other products, the ambassador said, noting that India is the biggest single buyer of phosphates from Jordan.
Indian investments in phosphates and textiles amount to more than $1.3 billion. The JPMC and the Indian Farmers Fertilisers Cooperative (IFFCO) have established a joint venture project worth $860 million for manufacturing phosphoric acid. Further, over 15 garment companies, owned by Indians, with cumulative investment of around $500 million are located in the Qualified Industrial Zones of Jordan, Haleem said.
On the technology front, the India-Jordan Centre of Excellence in Information Technology (IJ-CoEIT), a next generation IT facility has been established, fully funded by the government of India. IJ-CoEIT is equipped with state-of-the art IT infrastructure, including a Super Computer - PARAM Shavak, and advanced training facilities. The project aims to train 3,000 Jordanian experts at the centre in a span of five years.
The ambassador also noted that over 15,500 Indians reside in Jordan.
“Jordan has been a gracious and diligent host to them,” he said.
They are primarily employed in textile, construction, manufacturing, fertiliser companies, healthcare sector, universities, IT, finance and multilateral organisations, the envoy said.
Elaborating on his country's national day, Haleem said:“This is a special moment of the journey of Independent India,” as the country has commenced a two-year long celebrations known as“Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” (AKAM) to celebrate 75 years of India's independence.
India assumed the Presidency of the G-20 on December 1, 2022 under the theme“One Earth, One Family, One Future”, the ambassador noted.
“In view of the continued momentum” between the two countries, Haleem said,“we foresee a bright India-Jordan partnership, and look forward to further strengthening and diversifying our closeness in the coming years”.