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Indonesia Needs to Make a PTA with Jordan

To promote increased trade between two countries, Indonesian government should realize a PTA between Indonesia and Jordan.

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DPR RI Indonesia Parliament Jordan Arsia news

Arsianews, Jakarta – Jordan is considered as the right country to become a hub for Indonesian trade in the Middle East region, due to its strategic location, stable security conditions, and good trade potential. This had been shared by both parties during the Indonesian parliamentary visit to the Majlis Al-Nuwab (Jordanian Parliament), Thursday last week (7/2), in Amman Jordan.

The visit of DPR RI members Commission I (foreign affairs, security, intelligence and communication and information commission) led by Abdul Kharis Almasyhari was warmly received by the Chair of Foreign Relations Commission of Majlis Al-Nuwab, Nidal Al-Ta’ani.

Both parties understand the importance of the trade potential between the two countries. In 2018, Indonesia-Jordan recorded a trading volume of US$ 282 million, an increase of 5% from the previous year. Even in 2012, the annual trade volume of the two countries reached around US$ 500 million, before declining due to the crisis.

“Therefore, the establishment of a preferential trade agreement between Indonesia and Jordan is deemed necessary to enable greater trade between the two countries,” state the official release of the Indonesian Embassy for the Hashimite Kingdom of Jordan and Palestine, received by Arsianews on Monday 11 February 2018.

Preferential trade agreement (PTA) is a trade pact that aims to reduce tariffs on certain products traded between the countries who sign the pact.

To promote increased trade between the two countries, the Indonesian parliament also continued to encourage the Indonesian government to realize PTA between Indonesia and Jordan.

Jordan has also signed various similiar agreements with various countries, including free trade agreement with the US, European countries, as well as Canada.

In addition to trade issues, the Indonesian parliament also requested that Jordan loosen visa rules for Indonesian citizens visiting the country. Now, Jordan is included in 169 countries that receive 30-day visa-free facilities when visiting Indonesia. Unfortunately, this policy does not apply equally to Indonesian passport holders visiting Jordan.

In fact, Indonesia is listed as the fourth largest non-Arab country to visit Jordan. Based on data from the Central Bank of Jordan, there were about
45 thousand Indonesian tourists who visited Jordan during 2018. In contrast, Jordanian tourists visiting Indonesia are still relatively small, less than six thousand visitors in 2018.

In response to this, Al-Ta’ani promised to use his channel to endorse the Jordanian foreign ministry to facilitate the same privilege for Indonesian passport holders who visited Jordan.

The inter-parliamentary meeting which was also attended by the Indonesian Ambassador in Amman, Andy Rachmianto, and the Indonesian Honorary Council in Ramallah, Madam Maha Abu Shusheh, the two sides also discussed the Palestinian issue. Both parties agreed to increase parliamentary support for the struggle for Palestinian independence.

“Indonesia’s support for the establishment of an independent state of Palestine is never wavering, rather becoming more solid and persistent, particularly after Indonesia sit as a non-permanent membership at the UN Security Council starting this year,” said Ambassador Andy.

Recently, Indonesia and Kuwait as two non-permanent countries of the Security Council sought to mobilize a resolution condemning Israel for canceling international surveillance permits in the City of Hebron, West Bank, Palestine. Unfortunately, these efforts were vetoed by the United States.

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