Kuwait and Jordan pen 15 economic agreements as bilateral cooperation grows

The deals pave the way for greater Kuwaiti investment in Amman’s industrial and energy sectors

epa07333152 Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa (C) is received by his Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi pose (R) before the Ministerial Consultative meeting held with colleagues from Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt and UAE at the Hussein Bin Talal Convention center located in the Dead sea, some 90 km South of Amman, Jordan, 31 January 2019. The Foreign Ministers got together on 31 January to discuss various regional issues.  EPA/AMEL PAIN
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Kuwait and Jordan signed 15 far-reaching agreements on Monday paving the way for greater Kuwaiti involvement in the country’s industrial and energy sectors.

On the sidelines of the visit of Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al Sabah to Amman, Jordan and Kuwait signed several agreements that will allow for increased Kuwaiti investment in Jordan, including energy cooperation agreements, a gas agreement and a renewable energy development agreement between the two sides, according to the Jordan News Agency, Petra.

The arrangements are also believed to pave the way for Kuwait to provide Jordan with oil for electricity generation, as has been requested by Jordanian officials.

In addition to an industrial cooperation agreement, Kuwait and Jordan also signed an additional agreement that will bring Kuwaiti funding and a greater role for the Gulf state in the establishment of industrial zones in Jordan.

The agreements also aim to increase trade between the two countries, which stood at $300 million in 2018.

The two sides also signed a $6 million agreement to fund the construction of two schools in Amman, according to the Petra, reported.

The two sides also signed a tourism cooperation agreement to open the door for increased Kuwaiti investment and involvement in Jordan’s tourism sector in addition to tourism development.

As part of Monday’s meetings, Jordan formally invited Kuwait to invest in six separate investment zones in southeastern Jordan including three industrial zones, two logistic centres and an eco-tourism zone, according to Jordanian sources.

Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al Sabah was expected to meet with Jordan’s King Abdullah II later on Monday.

Kuwait provided Jordan with $1.25 billion as part of the Gulf bailout package in June 2018 when the kingdom was rocked with economic protests, funds that in addition to establishing a wind power farm in southern Jordan, will fund projects in agriculture, energy, infrastructure, health and transport.

Kuwait also provided Jordan with an additional $1 billion as part of the recent $2.5 billion economic package extended by the Gulf in October in the form of donations and loans.

Kuwait is the top foreign investor in Jordan, with $18 billion spent in the tourism, industry, banks, real-estate and telecom sectors. Kuwait also holds $1.3 billion at Jordan’s central bank.

Monday’s meetings and agreements are the latest in a series of formalised agreements and projects funded by recent Gulf financial packages to Jordan.

On Sunday, the Saudi government, through the Saudi-Jordan Investment Fund, signed a memorandum of understanding on Sunday to establish a railway connecting Aqaba to a logistics hub and dry port in Maan governorate.