The chairman of the Knesset economic committee Mr. Shalom Simhon Has sent a firm demand to several government ministries to come up with ideas how to reach a viable solution to the congestion problem at the busy Jordanian-Israeli border crossing.
The chairman also addressed the Federation of Chambers of Commerce as well as the Manufacturers Association to come up with their own program.
Mr. Simhon called upon the Ministry of Transport to offer amendments to the existing warehousing regulations emphasizing that the border crossing has an increasing economic potential not only to Jordan & Israel but to the region as a whole.
The issue was raised before the committee by Mr.Sorek, director of the Israel Jordanian bi-lateral chamber of commerce.
Mr. Sorek warned that the present border crossing, which employs some 200 locals, was originally planned for a small scale bilateral trade, however, due to a dramatic increase of the bilateral trade the government must embark upon a policy of widening the infrastructure to allow the Jordanians ship their industrial products to Europe and North America .
Mr. Sorek added that the present crossing is not only highly essential to the bilateral relations of the two countries but also acts as the main transport route through which 30% of the Jordanian export moves. Some us$150 millions worth of goods traded between Israel and Jordan, move through the crossing and any delay will be harmful to the trade.
Figures made available for 2004 by Mr. Sorek show that the volume of trade has indeed jumped dramatically. In the first three months the number of trucks that crossed the border was up 91% compared to last years figures. The value of traded goods was up 41%. The forecast is that at the end of 2004 the number of trucks will reach 100-120 per day as compared to 55 per day in 2003.