Rwanda and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on January 7, signed several cooperation agreements, including one on trade and agriculture, all offering business opportunities for the private sector. This was during King Abdullah II Ibn Al-Hussein’s three-day working visit to the country. ALSO READ: Rwanda, Jordan sign economic, health deals According to the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the agreements will substantially enhance trade and investment opportunities for citizens and businesses in the two countries. The pacts also include an agreement to eliminate double taxation with respect to taxes on income and the prevention of tax evasion and avoidance. ALSO READ: ‘Indifference is same as complicity’: Jordanian King Abdullah II on Genocide Enhanced bilateral ties between Rwanda and Jordan, a semi-arid West Asian country, present vast trade and investment opportunities to the private sector across many sectors, noted Jeanne-Françoise Mubiligi, the acting Chairperson of Rwanda's Private Sector Federation (PSF). “We are building business relationships and finding the right partners in terms of things such as getting raw materials, as well as in terms of business development when it comes to strengthening our [nascent] industry sector. Jordan has a very strong industry we can learn a lot from,” she noted, also highlighting the importance of attracting Jordanian tourists to Rwanda. “By and large, the development presents a great opportunity for our business community.” Trade ministers from both countries agreed to establish a joint technical team of relevant officials to oversee the respective pact’s implementation and organise a trade mission to Jordan in March to explore potential joint investments in key industries. A business forum is also set to be organised in Amman, the capital of Jordan, to help strengthen trade and investment ties with the private sector taking the lead. Mubiligi said: “The forum will help our business community explore opportunities and network better.” ALSO READ: Rwandans can now go to Jordan visa-free Mining Jordan's economic resource base mainly centers around phosphates, potash, and their fertilizer derivatives; tourism; in addition to overseas remittances. The Ministry of Trade and Industry identified Jordan’s mining sector among the areas where ties could be strengthened. As observed, Jordan has a very strong mining sector for which Rwanda could leverage in terms of sourcing key materials such as phosphate fertilizers as well sharing experience in the chemical industries. Technology and tourism As noted, Jordan has a growing IT sector, with expertise in software development, cyber security and tech innovation. It was observed during sessions, in Kigali, that collaborating in IT solutions, digital services, and innovation could benefit Rwanda's tech ecosystem. Leveraging Jordan's historical and cultural tourism expertise could also benefit Rwanda in areas such as tourism management, marketing strategies, and heritage preservation. Rwanda could also tap into Jordan's top-ranking medical tourism by leveraging the West Asian nation’s premier medical services and natural spa, utilizing Jordan's unique Islamic and Christian heritage sites. Agriculture and food processing Jordan boasts vast experience in agribusiness and food processing. Collaboration in agricultural technologies, food security, and processing methods could benefit Rwanda's agriculture sector. Jordan could serve as a hub for Rwanda’s horticultural products with potential to export to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates – and Iraq. Textiles garments With a skilled, cost-effective workforce of more than 76,000 workers, Jordan's textile and apparel sector is one of the country's most lucrative, competitive, and promising sectors. Officials also observed that Jordan's expertise in textile manufacturing, including garment production, could provide valuable insights and technical knowledge to Rwanda's textile sector, aiding in skill development and production techniques. In addition, collaborating with Jordan in supply chain management for textiles could enhance Rwanda's production processes, logistics, and distribution networks. Industrial parks and pharmaceuticals Drawing on Jordan's experience in establishing Special Economic Zones, it was noted that Rwanda could also learn and adopt best practices in industrial park development, management, and operations. Reports indicate that the Jordanian pharmaceutical industry is considered a major operator and a leading export industry and a major tributary to the Jordanian economy. Additionally, Jordan has an advanced pharmaceutical industry and is a regional hub for medical tourism. Rwanda could benefit from partnerships in healthcare infrastructure, pharmaceutical production, and medical tourism development. Jordan and Rwanda have, over the past, cemented ties based on agreements including the waiving of visas for both citizens, pending the opening of Rwanda’s diplomatic mission in Jordan, as announced in 2023. In February 2023, the two countries committed to enhancing bilateral ties. At the time, Foreign Affairs Minister Vincent Biruta received the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of Jordan, Ayman Safadi, in Kigali. Both countries cooperate in political consultations, higher education, health and medical sciences, trade and agriculture, defence and security, especially in fighting terrorism through information and expertise sharing, among others. In 2015, King Abdullah II launched the Aqaba Process to comprehensively address interconnected counter-terrorism and violent extremist threats through informal discussions. In 2022, President Paul Kagame visited Jordan where he held talks with King Abdullah II. They discussed common and global challenges and ways to enhance cooperation in various fields. Later, in June 2023, President Kagame and First Lady Jeannette Kagame attended the wedding of Prince Hussein of Jordan.