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France and Jordan

Presentation

Bilateral relations

France and Jordan are united through ties of friendship and trust. We share very similar views on many regional and international issues. We hold close and detailed dialogue, as seen through our regular high-level bilateral meetings:

King Abdullah II and Queen Rania showed their solidarity with France by taking part, alongside the President of the French Republic, in the demonstration on 11 January in memory of the victims of the attacks on 7, 8 and 9 January.

On 17-18 September 2014, King Abdullah II of Jordan made a working visit to France during which he was received by the President of the French Republic, the Prime Minister and the Presidents of the National Assembly and Senate. This trip provided an opportunity for in-depth dialogue on regional crises and was discussed in a joint statement. France and Jordan highlighted their joint support for international counter-terrorism efforts and for the new Iraqi government, and discussed the need to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts. They unanimously condemned the violence in Syria and emphasized the urgent need to organize a transition leading to a comprehensive political solution.

This visit demonstrated the quality of French-Jordanian bilateral relations and both countries’ commitment to deepening them. Several agreements were signed in the presence of the King and the French President, showing our enhanced cooperation in key sectors such as sustainable economic development, local development (particularly in Aqaba), sustainable management of water resources, renewable energy and the media. King Abdullah II was also received at MEDEF (French business confederation), where he held direct discussions with French businesses on the economic environment and business opportunities in Jordan.

On 21 June, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, Mr Laurent Fabius, travelled to Jordan as part of a regional tour to discuss possibilities to restart the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. On that occasion, he met with King Abdullah II and Deputy Prime Minister Nasser Judeh.

Along with his Jordanian counterpart, he also co-chaired the Paris Conference on the Victims of Ethnic and Religious Violence in the Middle East, which was held on 8 September 2015.

The French Defence Minister visited Jordan on 18 April 2015 and 1 January 2016, discussing our joint counter-terrorism efforts with King Abdullah II. He also visited the French military detachment deployed in Jordan to fight Daesh.

The Prime Minister visited Jordan on 11 October 2015. In addition to meetings with the Jordanian King and Prime Minister on major regional issues, this visit was an opportunity to confirm France’s support for Jordan through the signing of budget support and development agreements totalling US$265 million.

Lastly, a presidential visit is planned for 19 April 2016.

Visits

Visits to Jordan
2016

  • 1 January: Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of Defence. 2015
  • 18 April: Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of Defence.
  • 21 June 2015: Mr Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development
  • 27 September-20 October: Mr Jean-Louis Debré, President of the French Constitutional Council
  • 11-12 October 2015: Mr Manuel Valls, Prime Minister 2014
  • 8-13 June: Mr Robert Badinter, former Minister of Justice and former President of the French Constitutional Council, and Ms Elisabeth Badinter, philosopher
  • 19 July: Mr Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development 2013
  • 22 May: Mr Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, for the ministerial meeting of the Group of Friends of the Syrian People in Amman.
  • 13-14 June: Mr Xavier Darcos, President of the Institut français (French Institute)23 June: Mr François Hollande, President of the French Republic
  • 25-28 September: Ms Hélène Conway-Mouret, Minister Delegate for French Nationals Abroad

Visits to France
2015

  • 8 January: Mr Nasser Judeh, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriate Affairs
  • 11 January: H.M. HRH Abdullah II, King of Jordan, and HM Queen Rania
  • 2 June: Mr Nasser Judeh, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriate Affairs
  • 12 June: Mr Imad Fakhoury, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation
  • 8 September: Mr Nasser Judeh, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriate Affairs 2014
  • 12 January: Mr Nasser Judeh, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriate Affairs, for the Friends of Syria Core Group meeting
  • 6-7 March: joint visit by Mr Hatem Halawani, Minister of Industry and Trade and Mr Hazim El-Nasser, Minister of Water and Irrigation
  • 15 September: Mr Nasser Judeh, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriate Affairs, for the International Conference on Peace and Security in Iraq.
  • 17-18 September: HM HRH Abdullah II, King of Jordan, and HM Queen Rania 2013
  • 1 February: Mr Nasser Judeh, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriate Affairs
  • 16-17 September 2013: Mr Hussein Al-Majali, Minister of Interior
  • 13 November 2013: Mr Mohammed Thneibat, Minister of Education

Economic relations

French-Jordanian economic relations have developed greatly since the privatization of the Kingdom’s economy.

Our 2014 exports fell by 15% compared with 2013 (excluding an exceptional delivery of turbines in 2013). Our trade surplus is €277 million and total trade volume is €301 million. Despite this drop, we welcome positive results in certain sectors: automobile vehicles (+54%) and refined petroleum products (+128%). Pharmaceuticals and perfumes remain among our major exports to Jordan. With a 2% market share, France is ranked fourth among European countries (behind Germany, Italy and Switzerland), with the European Union as Jordan’s number one supplier (19.7%), ahead of Saudi Arabia (19.6%), China (10.5%) and the United States (5.8%).

With €1.5 billion in stocks, France ranks 6ᵗʰ in terms of foreign investment, behind the Gulf States and on par with the United States. France is especially active in the area of telecommunications, which accounts for 66% of French investment (Orange), banking services, cement production (Lafarge), water distribution and treatment (including Suez and Vinci), fuel distribution (Total) and transport (management of Amman airport by Aéroports de Paris).

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

French is involved in various scientific and technical cooperation projects in key sectors of the Jordanian economy such as energy, water and tourism. Good governance, justice, administrative modernization, promotion of archaeological resources and culture are also among our priorities.

The Amman branch of the IFPO (French Institute for the Near East) is conducting archaeological, historical and contemporary sociological research of scientific interest to France and Jordan. The Institut français in Jordan (IFJ) is France’s cultural agency in the country. It promotes and spreads the French language and culture through French language courses and an ambitious cultural programme. It is also involved with Jordanian cultural stakeholders to promote joint projects.

The French secondary school (lycée) in Amman, which was opened in September 2013, is a catalyst for increasing our educational, cultural and linguistic cooperation with Jordan.

With a volume of ongoing financing authorizations of €665 million (June 2015), the Agence française de développement (French Development Agency, AFD) and its subsidiary PROPARCO are among Jordan’s main bilateral donors. The AFD supports Jordan’s development in key sectors for the country: water, energy, transport and local development. The memorandum of understanding signed in September 2014 sets out the AFD’s strong commitment to the water sector for the 2014-2016 period by supporting reforms and infrastructure development. In June, the AFD signed a $166 million loan with Amman City Hall to finance the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project which will enhance the city’s urban and economic development.

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Updated: 01/04/2016

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