Joint Iraq-Jordan border city 'progressing according to plan' as ministers meet

Joint Iraq-Jordan border city 'progressing according to plan' as ministers meet
Jordanian and Iraqi ministers have met in Baghdad to discuss ways to boost economic cooperation, including the construction of an industrial estate straddling the Iraq-Jordan border.
2 min read
16 December, 2022
Jordan, Egypt and Iraq's foreign ministers also held talks on Thursday [Getty]

A joint city planned in eastern Jordan and western Iraq is "progressing according to plan" as ministers from the two countries held trade talks in Baghdad on Thursday.

The joint industrial estate will be established on the border of the two countries, which Amman and Baghdad are betting on to boost economic activity in the sparsely populated area.

Iraq's new Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani hosted a high-level Jordanian delegation on Thursday - including ministers for trade, labour, and energy - to discuss ways to boost economic cooperation.

"The meeting discussed the development of cooperation between Iraq and Jordan in industry and economic partnership and ways to develop integration to enable the countries to face global economic challenges and crises and their local and regional impacts," Jordan's official Petra news agency reported.

The industrial estate was agreed upon in May with both countries allocating 20 dunums of land (around five acres) for the project.

Amman said it hoped the project would help develop the mostly desert regions of Al-Safwi, Al-Rweished and Al Jafer in eastern Jordan via improved infrastructure and job creation.

In September, Jordanian authorities announced that tenders would be issued soon for the construction of the border city.

Jordan's Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply and Minister of Labour Yousef Shammali, who is one of two heads of an Iraqi-Jordanian cooperation group, said the joint city is "progressing according to plan", and that Iraq and Jordan have a "common vision" for economic development.

Jordan and Iraq also agreed on Thursday to extend a memorandum of understanding to see Amman supplied with around 10,000 barrels of subsidised Iraqi oil daily.

Iraq and Jordan had strong economic ties during the 1980s and 1990s but the US-led invasion of Iraq and ouster of dictator Saddam Hussein, as well as the Islamic State group takeover of western Iraq, saw trade dwindle.

Since some semblance of stability has returned to Iraq, both countries have been keen to bolster trade and economic cooperation.

Iraq, Jordan and Egypt recently established a trilateral cooperation mechanism to bolster economic, political and security cooperation between the three countries.

Egypt, Jordan and Iraq's foreign ministers met in Amman last week to move these plans forward.