The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan celebrates its Independence Day on May 25th every year, commemorating the significant milestone when it gained independence from British rule. The Hashemite Army led the Great Arab Revolt, supported by Allied forces, which resulted in Jordan’s liberation from the Ottoman Empire after World War I. Negotiations led by Emir Abdullāh led to the signing of a treaty in 1946, solidifying Jordan’s independence.
India’s bilateral relationship with Jordan dates back to 1947 when the first agreement for cooperation and friendly relations was signed between the two countries. This relationship was formalized in 1950 with the establishment of full-fledged diplomatic ties.
Bilateral ties between India and Jordan have been growing stronger over the years, with India emerging as the fourth largest trading partner of Jordan in 2021. The two countries have been cooperating on various domains, including dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, and have been enhancing people-to-people interactions through educational and cultural exchanges. To help Jordan in its capacity building efforts, India has made available 26 ITEC slots apart from five scholarship slots under ICCR.
In November 2009, Jordan extended the tourist visa on arrival scheme to Indian tourists, and the government of India reciprocated by doing the same for Jordanian nationals in November 2014. During the visit of Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein, King of Jordan, to India in March 2018, agreements on manpower and visafree entry for official and diplomatic passport holders were signed.
The first meeting of India-Jordan Joint Working Group (JWG) on cooperation in the field of manpower was held virtually in March 2021. There are around 16,500 Indian nationals living in Jordan, mostly working in garment companies located in the industrial zones.
Cultural fondness between the two countries has been growing as well, with great interest in Indian films and actors. A cultural exchange agreement has been signed between India and Jordan, and there have been regular exchanges of cultural troupes.
Various associations, such as the Jordan India Friendship Society, Indian Community Association in Aqaba, Jordan-India Alumni Association, and Indian Women Association, are actively organizing socio-cultural events in Jordan. Last year, the Indian embassy in Jordan celebrated ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ with a series of activities, including lectures, painting exhibitions, seminars, and a grand cultural festival-cum-handloom fashion show.
Trade & investment
In 2022-23, India-Jordan bilateral trade reached an all-time high of US$ 4.425 billion with an exceptional growth of 63 per cent. India’s exports to Jordan increased by 140 per cent and stand at US$ 2,135 million. The 10th Trade and Economic Joint Committee meeting was held in New Delhi in 2017, and the first meeting of India-Jordan Joint Maritime Committee was held in December 2018.
A joint venture project worth US$ 860 million named JIFCO was commissioned in October 2015, and over 15 garment companies with a cumulative investment of around US$ 500 million are located in Qualified Industrial Zones. In February 2018, a high-level Jordanian business delegation participated in the Jordan-India Business Forum, and FICCI signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Jordan Chambers of Commerce to promote trade cooperation.
The Jordanian Businessmen Association and the Millennial India International Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture signed an MOU in September 2018 to promote economic cooperation.