Jordan-Qatar trade: Economics trump politics
Qatar is the third-largest investor in Jordan.
Despite Jordan‘s decision to downgrade its diplomatic representation with Qatar in light of the Gulf crisis in June 2017, economic relations between the two countries have seen momentum, making some expect that the economy will re-open the doors of diplomacy between them.
On Sunday, a Jordanian delegation headed by the Chairman of Jordan’s Chamber of Commerce, Nael Kabariti, met the Qatar Chamber’s Chairman Sheikh Khalifa Bin Jassim Al Thani in Doha, to discuss cooperation prospects. The two agreed to convene a joint business council in Amman later this month.
Kabariti stressed that the blockade imposed on Qatar did not affect the trade between the private sector of both countries, estimated at $400m.
Qatar also ranks as the third-largest investor in Jordan, with $2bn worth of investments, mostly concentrated in the financial and real estate sectors.
Jordanian-Qatari diplomatic contacts have been suspended since last summer, after Jordan recalled its ambassador in Doha and the Qatari ambassador left his post in Amman.
In this regard, the Jordanian-Qatari relations committee in the Jordanian parliament has called several times to restore full diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Jordanian member of parliament Abdullah al-Akayla told Al Jazeera: “There is relentless parliamentary pressure on the [Jordanian] government to restore relations with Doha and develop them, while Jordan is subject to immense pressure to block it from restoring [full] relations with Qatar.”
Akayla also said that Jordan needs to have distinguished relations with all countries, without taking sides in geopolitical blocs.
Hoping that the Gulf crisis is resolved in the next months, Akayla said that, “What happened in the Gulf crisis harmed us and we demanded that Gulf leaders rise to the challenges facing the region.”