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Canada and Jordan: Taking International Partnerships to New Heights

5 November 2016

Canada and Jordan: Taking International Partnerships to New Heights
This past week, the Governor General of Canada, David Johnston, met with His Majesty King Abdullah II in Jordan. The meeting has enhanced the good-standing relations that the two countries have enjoyed, while also setting the foundation for new regional and international developments.

Over meetings at Al-Husseiniya Palace, Governor General Johnston and His Majesty discussed several topics, including opportunities for investment, economic cooperation, development, and education. The King emphasized that Canada had much to benefit by taking part in projects under the Jordan-Canada Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which was instituted in 2012.

Expanded talks have not only encouraged trade of innovative ideas, but placed a spotlight on Canada and Jordan’s unique partnership—particularly interests in boosting cooperation in areas of tourism, energy, and transportation, as well as vocational education and cultural exchange. Canada and Jordan have a long history of collaboration, and a number of agreements and treaties have already been signed between the two countries.

Johnston’s visit further strengthened the relationship between the Canadian and Jordanian governments, which included talks at the Prime Ministry. Here, leaders of the two countries focused on issues surrounding regional events, including the effects of Syria’s refugee crisis on Jordan. Prime Minister Hani Mulki highlighted Canada’s unwavering support concerning the Syrian refugee crisis, earning Jordan a place on Ottawa’s listing of countries worthy of economic and developmental aid from Canada.

Included in Johnston’s visit was the Queen Rania Teacher Academy (QRTA), established in 2009, that specializes in the training and education of teachers in Jordanian schools and those throughout the broader region.  QRTA has implemented a five-year project (from 2015-2019) which focuses on improving teacher development and education standards, an endeavor that Global Canada Affairs currently extends financial support to.

After talks concluded between country officials, an Audiovisual Co-production Treaty was signed to promote the merging and exchange of culture between Canada and Jordan. According to the agreement, national status is granted to joint Canadian and Jordanian projects that fall under the Treaty, thus opening the door for financial benefits, such as funding and tax incentives for the respective countries.

Both Canada and Jordan have expressed their intentions to continue advancing the bilateral partnership the two countries have striven to achieve. Canada's annual financial backing to the Hashemite Kingdom, totaling to approximately $40 million as of October, was discussed alongside Jordan's dedication to countering terrorism in bordering areas. However, the greatest strides made during the meetings centered on Johnston's appeal for enhancing fields in education, as well as strengthening women's contributions to labor markets, and the creation of commercial productions in cinematic industries.

Communications between Canada and Jordan aims to encourage cross-cultural exchange on multiple levels, for both governments and the many people residing in each respective country. For Jordanians, the Canada-Jordan Free Trade Agreement places high significance on advancing relations between Canada and the Arab state, as Jordan is a country that continuously endorses peace and safety within and beyond its borders. With Canada’s continued support of the Hashemite Kingdom, both governments can capitalize on their roles as respected leaders that champion diplomatic and amicable collaboration between the Middle East and western world.

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