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India, Jordan to sign five agreements

india Updated: Nov 29, 2006 20:24 IST
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Promoting bilateral trade and investment between India and Jordan tops the agenda of King Abdullah II Bin El Hussein, who comes to the city on a three-day visit on Thursday - the first state visit of the monarch to New Delhi.

India and Jordan will sign five agreements in investment protection, agriculture, tourism, information technology and cultural exchange on Friday, official sources said.

Taking trade and economic relations to new levels - India's exports to Jordan have gone up by 45 per cent this year - is high on the agenda of King Abdullah and will figure prominently in his talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Manmohan Singh and the Jordanian king, who comes accompanied by Queen Rania and a large business delegation, will also discuss a broad range of bilateral and global issues, including terrorism and the Middle East peace process.

The keen interest of both countries to give their burgeoning economic relations an added impetus will be evident from the signing of a Bilateral Investment Protection Agreement (BIPA) during the royal visit.

"The final text of BIPA has been agreed and is expected to be signed soon," external affairs ministry spokesperson Navtej Sarna told mediapersons on Wednesday while giving an overview of the king's visit to India.

The 44-year-old monarch, who has been ruling the country for the last seven years, will also meet President APJ Abdul Kalam, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi during his visit.

King Abdullah will deliver a keynote address on India-Jordan relations at the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) and interact with top Indian business leaders at a separate meeting on Thursday evening.

Jordanian businessmen are showing a keen interest in India's emergence as a business hub. An exhibition showcasing high-quality Indian products is likely to be held in Amman.

India has been involved with a slew of infrastructure projects related to roads and railways in Jordan and plans to expand its cooperation further in education, IT and culture.

India and Jordan have enjoyed cordial and friendly relations and have expanded their cooperation in economic and technical areas in recent years.

India is among Jordan's top five trading partners and the two countries already have a double taxation avoidance treaty in place.

Jordan helped India in evacuating Indian nationals who escaped from Iraq and Kuwait during the 1990 Gulf war.

Jordan's late King Hussein visited India thrice (1963, 1983 and 1986) and former Crown Prince El Hassan Bin Talal made five visits (1976, 1979, 1982, 1984 and 1988).

The last Indian prime minister to visit Jordan was Rajiv Gandhi, who went there in 1988.

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