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Cablegate: Goj Hopes Jordan Can Be Base for Baghdad

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS AMMAN 001651

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

STATE PASS USAID
COMMERCE FOR 4520/ITA/MAC/ONE/COBERG
TREASURY FOR MILLS AND CHANG

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID EFIN IZ JO
SUBJECT: GOJ HOPES JORDAN CAN BE BASE FOR BAGHDAD
PROCUREMENTS

REF: AMMAN 106

This is an action message; see para 4.

1. (sbu) Jordanian Trade Minister Salah al Bashir asked the
Ambassador in a meeting on March 12 what requirements would
need to be met to allow USG agencies making procurements in
Iraq after a government change to procure goods and/or
services from Jordan (such as waivers of "buy America"
contracting provisions). Bashir noted that Jordan has a
number of regional competitive advantages in several sectors,
and would be a natural fit for procurement for Iraq, owing to
the close historical ties between Jordan and Iraq. He noted
further that, particularly in the services sector, Jordanians
were already employed throughout the region - as engineers,
architects, IT specialists, teachers, and medical staff.

2. (sbu) As examples of the types of goods and services
Jordan could provide, Bashir passed to the Ambassador a list
of goods produced for export in Jordan (also available on the
GOJ's Department of Statistics Website: www.dos.gov.jo) and a
list of key service sector exports, including: medical
tourism; architectural and engineering consultancy; legal
services; teaching/education; audit and accountancy services;
software engineers/computer technicians; contract research
organizations (testing for pharmaceuticals); contracting
services; land transportation; and management consultancy.
(Note: The embassy previously passed to Department reftel
list of Jordan's exports to Iraq for the past three years,
which may be a better gauge of immediate export potential.
End note.)

3. (sbu) Comment: Iraq is a natural trading partner for
Jordan, and Jordan does, as the Minister pointed out, have an
excellent regional track record in the export of certain
services. Jordanian contractors are currently reliable
supporters of U.S. government activities in Jordan. Jordan
is also an FTA partner, a front-line supporter of our
counter-terrorism program, and a key ally on many regional
policies. To the extent that USG sourcing from Jordan was
possible, any such business would not only benefit both
countries at a technical level, but would likely more quickly
develop normal commercial relations between the two countries
and help the Iraqi private sector get back on its feet. It
would also signal out continued commitment to Jordan's
economic future.

4. (sbu) Action Request: Embassy would appreciate
Washington guidance regarding what possibilities exist for
procurement from Jordan. What rules govern such procurement?
How could we accommodate Jordan's request?
GNEHM

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