Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour and his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong Sunday led officials from the two countries during talks to discuss ways of cementing relations between the two countries as well as political crises in the Middle East.

Ensour said Jordan and Singapore enjoyed economic relations which culminated in the signing of a free trade agreement in 2004 that went into force in 2005, and also noted that His Majesty King Abdullah's visits to the Southeast Asian country were "the cornerstone" of these ties.

He said that Jordan had forged ahead with political and economic reforms and development of the business environment in the country despite the regional circumstances, an indication that the Kingdom was on the right path to deal with political and economic challenges and enhance its security, stability and modernization.

Jordan, he noted, had signed free trade agreements with the United States, Canada and the European Union and was negotiating with the EU easing the terms for the certificate of origin of Jordanian products, which would give the opportunity to foreign investments in the Kingdom.

Ensour said Singaporean investment in Jordan remained modest despite the many sectors available for business, including infrastructure, water, renewable energy, railways and information technology in addition to investment in the Aqaba Special Economic Zone as a strategic location and a link between Asia and Africa.

The Singaporean premier said his country's companies were interested in Jordan due to its security and stability, noting the possibility of exploiting easier certificate of origin terms and expressing the firms' interest in the mega Red Sea-Dead Sea Canal project the Kingdom plans to launch.

They two sides also discussed the conditions in the region, including the Palestinian issue and the Syrian crisis, and Ensour gave a briefing on Jordan's efforts to help find a just and lasting solution to the Palestinian cause.

He also spoke about the fallout of the civil war in Syria, noting that Jordan had received about 1.3 million refugees fleeing the conflict, which placed an enormous burden on services, infrastructure and other vital sectors.

The meeting was attended by the deputy premier and minister of foreign and expatriates affairs and the ministers of water and irrigation, environment, public sector development and tourism and the state minister for media affairs.

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Source: Ammon News