• Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland



  • Direct flights would help boost tourism between Jordan, Poland - diplomat

    By Mohammad Ghazal

    AMMAN - Jordan and Poland stand to benefit if direct flights are initiated between the two countries, as the number of Polish tourists coming to Jordan has the potential to increase exponentially, a senior Polish diplomat said Monday.

    In an interview with The Jordan Times, Krzysztof Bojko, head of mission at the Republic of Poland embassy in Amman, said some 20,000 Polish tourists visited Jordan in 2009, compared to 35,000 in 2008.

    "Taking into account the large number of Christian pilgrims who come to the Palestinian territories and Israel, the number of Polish tourists to Jordan can be increased to about 100,000 annually if we have direct flights," the diplomat said.

    "There are lots of interesting places to see in Jordan, including the world renowned Petra, Jerash, Aqaba, Wadi Rum and Mount Nebo, and the Polish people are interested to see such sites," Bojko noted.

    According to the diplomat, some 600,000 Polish tourists visit Egypt annually and about 150,000 to 200,000 visit Israel and the Palestinian territories.

    "There is a huge potential for increasing cooperation in this regard and increasing the number of tourists between the two countries," he said, adding that a few thousand Jordanians visit his country each year.

    Bojko also highlighted the potential for cementing cooperation in the economic and commercial fields, noting that the seventh meeting of the Jordanian-Polish Business Forum will be held in Aqaba in early May, providing participants from both countries with an opportunity to explore prospects for cooperation and investments.

    "The forum will increase bilateral cooperation in different economic and commercial sectors and help boost the trade volume," said Bojko, whose country established diplomatic ties with Jordan in 1964.

    The trade volume between Jordan and the European country, whose economy is ranked 19th in the world, stood at $45 million in 2009, while in 2008 it reached $100 million, according to Polish embassy figures.

    Poland, which Bojko said was the only country in Europe to register positive gross domestic product growth last year that stood at 1.9 per cent, mainly imports potash from Jordan, while it exports machinery, tobacco, cheese and other items to the Kingdom.

    "The participants at the forum will explore business opportunities. Jordan has a large potential for exporting pharmaceuticals as its pharmaceuticals are very good. There is also potential for exporting Dead Sea cosmetics to Poland, which is a big market and has a population of 40 million people," he said.

    The diplomat pointed out that the absence of Jordanian representation in Poland hampers opportunities for increased cooperation in a wide range of sectors, noting that the Jordanian embassy in Berlin covers Poland.

    Bojko said applications were submitted to the Ministry of Interior to set up an association for Polish women in Amman as well as a Jordanian-Polish Friendship Association that will help foster bilateral ties in different fields.

    According to the embassy, the Polish community in Jordan numbers around 300.

    The diplomat also highlighted the potential for increased bilateral cooperation in the cultural and the educational sectors.

    He noted that the Polish embassy in Amman will screen the movie "Chopin: Desire for Love" by Jerzy Antczak, alongside an exhibition dedicated to the 19th century Polish composer Fryderyk Chopin on Wednesday at Al Hussein Cultural Centre.

    The diplomat added that a concert by 70 Polish musicians is scheduled to be held in Amman on October 7.

    As part of its efforts to reach out to local communities, Bojko said the embassy will provide a computer lab with the necessary PCs to a school in Hitteen refugee camp and also supply books to a school library in Aqaba.


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