With New Delhi and Amman engaging to expand ties in education, IT, renewable energy and research, trade is expected to touch $5 billion by 2025.Expanding cooperation in the fields of food and energy security, as well as diversifying bilateral ties beyond the standard trade and investment relationship, will be the focus of talks when King Abdullah Ibn Hussein, accompanied by senior officials and a 30-member business delegation, visits India at the end of the month. Jordan is very keen to see a larger Indian footprint and the King is expected to pitch for it during the talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Jordan could play an important role in India’s energy security paradigm, given the fact that it claims to have the second-largest shale deposits in the world after the US. Amb Anil Trigunayat, former Indian Ambassador to Jordan, Libya and Malta, told FE, “India is Jordan’s largest importer of phosphates and potash.
Hence, Jordan plays a key role in India’s food security. More importantly, Jordan, having one of the biggest shale deposits, could play a lead role in due course in our energy security, while it is soliciting strategic investments from Indian entrepreneurs in the infrastructure and services sector for a mutually-beneficial enterprise that will be projected at the India-Jordan Business Forum during the visit.” “On the other hand, Jordan has a unique geo-strategic advantage for catering to markets from their Arab neighbourhood to Europe and North America through an unusual and expansive web of free trade agreements (FTAs),” Trigunayat, adviser to FICCI on MENA & Africa/BRICS Chamber of Commerce, added.
In October 2015, the flagship joint venture project with an investment of $860 million between IFFCO and JPMC producing phosphoric acid for Indian fertiliser plants and agriculture was inaugurated. The two sides are considering growing businesses under Modi’s flagship Make in India initiative. Textiles is a very important sector for the Arab kingdom – some 20 textile mills in Jordan are owned by Indians in special zones with an investment of over a quarter million dollars. “Indian industry could gain tremendously by positioning in Jordan for partaking in the eventual reconstruction of Iraq and Syria,” the former envoy said.
In order to attract visitors to its exceptional historic sites and landscapes, Jordan has extended visa-on-arrival facility for Indian tourists and businessmen. The move was initiated by Jordan Investment Commission after the two leaders discussed means of boosting economic cooperation between the two countries. The eased restrictions will facilitate the entry of Indian businesspeople and boost tourism movement, in addition to increasing Indian investment volume and saving effort and time of investors. India remains a major importer of rock phosphates, potash and finished fertilisers and is now targeting to jointly explore ways to mine shale gas with the Arab kingdom in western Asia.