US Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade Kenneth Hyatt has called upon the Jordanian business people to invest in the US.
During a meeting with the press, the US trade official said that he is leading a group of infrastructure companies in a trade mission to Jordan to oversee the daily operation of the International Trade Administration. The mission will also go to Egypt and Morocco.
Hyatt said that his visits to the region focused on renewable energy, explaining that six out of the ten companies in the delegation operate in the renewable and solar energy sector, while four of them work in the construction materials and water technology fields. "We value the long history of cooperation and friendship with Jordan and we appreciate the special role Jordan plays in advancing peace and moderation in the region," the official said.
"We have been working and we will continue to work to promote business between Jordan and the United States," he added.
"In May of this year, we will lead another trade mission to Jordan which will focus on the medical and health care sector," he explained.
Jordan was the first Arab country to sign the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the US, which expanded trade relations between the two countries, noting that before the agreement, trade exchange was only around $400 million but currently it exceeds $3.3 billion.
Jordan's exports to the United States in 2001 stood at $229 million, reached $1.2 billion in 2013, while this year it is expected to go up even higher as the value of exports in the first nine months of this year exceeded this figure, the official revealed.
As for his mission in the Kingdom, Hyatt said that the delegates held meetings with officials in the ministries and with other government officials in Amman.
The delegates organized 140 business to business meetings between the American companies and their Jordanian counterparts ,in addition to 50 other meetings with companies and businessmen from the West Bank.
"Energy is very important to Jordan and renewable energy is a solution," he said, adding that the mission also seeks to encourage Jordanian businesspeople to invest in the US.
Hyatt selected the sectors of ICT, healthcare and energy as important businesses that can contribute to boosting trade between Jordan and the US.
Vice President and Regional Director of the Jordanian "First Solar" company Ahmad Nada, who attended the meeting, explained that the company is a global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar systems which is currently taking part in the Shams Maan Power Plant.
The plant provides engineering, procurement and construction services for the 52.5 megawatt solar-run power plant in the southern governorate.
"We see valuable economic benefits in investing in Jordan," Nada said, adding that First Solar is going to bid for a similar project in the governorate of Mafraq where bidding would open on January 20 of next year.
The US-Jordan Free Trade Agreement (FTA) came into force on December 17, 2001 with the aim to eliminate duties and commercial barriers to bilateral trade in goods and services originating in the United States and Jordan.
The FTA also includes – for the first time ever in the text of a trade agreement – provisions addressing trade and environment (Article 5), trade and labor (Article 6), and electronic commerce (Article 7). Other provisions address intellectual property rights protection (Article 4), balance of payments (Article 11), rules of origin (Article 14), safeguards (Article 10) and procedural matters (Articles 16 and 17).