Israel, Jordan Advance 1994 Plan for Joint Industrial Park
Israel and Jordan will build a joint industrial zone on their shared border to encourage deeper business ties and new initiatives in trade and technology.
“This is an initiative that will increase employment in both countries, advance our economic and diplomatic relations, and enhance the peace and friendship between our two countries,” stated Prime Minister Yair Lapid.
The vision of a joint industrial park was born during peace talks between Israel and Jordan in 1994, and revived over the past year by Israel’s Regional Cooperation Ministry. Dubbed “Jordan Gateway,” the plan includes the use of the existing Jordan River Crossing bring to serve as a “convenient” way for businesspeople from both countries to connect for joint projects, the Israeli government said. The crossing is located just outside the Israeli northern city of Beit She’an.
“Twenty-eight years since the peace agreement with Jordan, we are taking the good neighborly relations between our two countries another step forward,” said Lapid, who discussed the final details of the plan during last week’s meeting with King Abdullah II in Amman.
During the meeting, the two leaders discussed bilateral economic projects in the transport, water, energy and food security sectors. Israel already provides Jordan with freshwater supplies under the existing peace deal.
The Jordan Gateway Industrial Park will be one of Israel’s largest-ever joint ventures with a neighbor, Lapid said.
According to the plan approved on Sunday, the zone will include the Jordan Gateway Park Terminal, with an area for hosting businesspeople and guests who arrive from the Jordanian side. The terminal will be built and operated by the Israel Airports Authority.
“We started with the agreement to export water in exchange for solar energy and now have this decision which takes the vision of the civil peace, not just between the countries but also between the peoples, an additional step further,” commented Regional Cooperation Minister Esawi Frej. “The peace between us is not a peace devoid of economic and civil cooperation that enables the citizens of both countries to enjoy its fruits.”