Point of Order, Before the Jeddah Meet…

By: Jumana Ghunaimat

تم نشره في Sun 26 June / Jun 2016. 12:00 AM
  • Jumana Ghunaimat

Contrary to previous rumour, the Saudi-Jordan Coordination Council is unlikely to convene this Ramadan.

This change in the Council’s schedule, presided by Premier Dr Hani Mulaqi on the Jordanian side, and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman on the Saudi side, was estimated either due to changes in the priorities of our Saudi brethren, or as others suggest, that the parts have been disillusioned by the idea and that excitement has faded.

Both wrong, to a huge extent, for the better part of it, the truth is that Jordan, locally speaking, is not ready yet to bring to the table the best ideas to see this new partnership through, and yield the best outcomes of it.

More so, this rescheduling is also caused domestically by the reshuffle in government; the arrival of Dr Mulqi’s cabinet to succeed Dr Abdullah Nsoor, whose team, at least those in charged with tending to the Coordination Council, are still in office. The only difference is the instatement of Dr Jawad Anani as deputy premier for economic affairs and minister of industry, trade, and supply, as well as head of the economic team.

Additionally, a joint Jordanian-Saudi committee was formed to finalise the work that needs to be concluded on Jordan’s part, before convening in Jeddah.

The formation of the committee was disclosed to “Al Ghad” by Dr Anani; the committee aims to review proposed projects, and pick projects to refer to the Council’s approval.

Accordingly, preliminary information indicate that a meeting of the preparation committee is due in Jeddah, this Ramadan probably, in order to rearrange all the political, economic, investment, and other files, before the Council’s convention there.

Backstage dynamics here indicate respective ministers are still working on putting together a list of feasible projects for their sectors, intended to appeal to Saudi capital, in order to shake hands of partnerships that would also, most certainly, be beneficial to Jordan.

Informed sources confirm that it is paramount for Jordan to prep well, and some do not think we are going doing our best! Partnership this time is different from past and typical Jordanian-Saudi relations; this one is not based on direct financial grants, but on investment. Should we be able to make the best off it, and if the Saudis indeed put their money where their mouth is, this new phase would preface a new developmental reality for Jordan and Jordanians.

Investment, regardless the investor, is crucial to resolving the Country’s economic situation. It is, without exaggeration, a magic pill to all our financial, developmental, and monetary economic problems; it would incite GDP growth, contribute to resolving poverty and unemployment, and tilt-right the commercial trade balance, among other benefits, conditioned by these investments being developmental.

Back to the objectives and goals of the Jordan-Saudi Partnership; it is aimed at the development and deepening of strategic relations between the two countries, which includes reinforcing political coordination in bilateral, regional, and international issues, and the fortification of cooperation between the two countries on different levels. Some see it as a new form of support, on Saudi’s part, for Jordan.

Information at hand, nonetheless, confirm that the Council’s first meeting is due September 1st, most probably, to sign a variety of agreements, particularly those related to investment.

The rescheduling of the first meeting, and the formation of a preparation committee, could be considered a Point of Order before the Jeddah meet, to ensure effective and beneficial outcomes for both. Let’s wait and see,