At the Jordan Investment Forum
21 October 2008
Thank you very much sir. I speak for my entire delegation when I say, what a great pleasure it is to be with you today. I would like to extend my special thanks to the Chilean friends who helped organise today's forum. I am also happy to welcome members of the Arab Chilean Council, representing one of today's most important Arab communities outside my region. And I am grateful to all the distinguished participants who have joined us, from the private sector, the government, the media, and more.
Jordan and Chile are separated by seven time zones and more than 13,000 kilometres - but we are near neighbours, when it comes to our global economic approach. We seek a thriving, free economy powered by innovation, strongly competitive in global markets, and able to open new access to opportunity.
For ten years and more, we in Jordan have had a national strategy and taken the practical measures to achieve results. Cooperation, on an international level, has been a major part of that effort.
We are extremely optimistic about our growing cooperation with Chile. I believe that we can work together to create and sustain opportunity for our people, to reduce our vulnerability to events in the major economies, and to take our rightful place in shaping the global economic system.
Partnerships are essential: to open the gateways to regional markets, to build on our relative strengths; and share knowledge and best practices, and to boost our resiliency against external shocks.
The Middle East and South America have key roles in these partnerships. Cooperation is growing, both multi-lateral and bi-lateral. Jordan and MERCOSUR have a cooperation agreement in place that we hope will lead to a free trade agreement. We are grateful that Chile has supported this important step. On this visit, we are also pleased to be signing several agreements that will advance our economic ties.
The private sector has its own special role in South-South ties. Often, you have the greatest opportunities to design the effective partnerships that will benefit both sides. With regard to Jordan and Chile, I know that our chambers of commerce are exploring future initiatives. Such connections are growing. It is my hope that this forum will help create more.
The time, I believe, has come to build our partnership. And you will find Jordan a willing and able partner. Our country's moderation and stability, our work for regional peace and integration, our commitment to a future of progress: All this is making Jordan a great place for global business.
There is tremendous potential for creative linkages between our industries and sectors. It is my hope that today, and in the weeks ahead, you will explore the many opportunities -- in tourism, mining, transport, pharmaceuticals, and more.
Again, thank you for your participation in today's Forum. It has been a privilege to help inaugurate this important event. I wish you the greatest success, and hopefully, we will see you in our country very soon.