Shaar Hayarden Bridge is being built between Israel and Jordan over the Jordan River. The 352 metre long bridge will form part of a shared industrial and business enclave with 175 acres on the Jordanian side which will house factories and 60 acres on the Israeli side, where logistics support, delivery, and customs will be located.
While the area will not be a border crossing between the two countries, Israelis and Jordanians working on the site will not need passports to enter. The idea for a free trade zone dates back to the signing of the peace treaty and an agreement for an industrial park was signed in 1998. The Shaar Hayarden project itself was rubber-stamped by each side in 2013.
The project marks a high-point in Israeli-Jordanian cooperation and will mean large economic benefits for both sides. The free trade zone will allow the countries to enjoy a free flow of workers, goods and raw materials as well as exemption from various taxes that usually come with trade between foreign countries.
The location, halfway between Haifa Port and Amman facilitates easy access to Europe and the US for the Israeli side, as well as to the Gulf of Aqaba and the Far East from the Jordanian side.
Observers say that this development acts as an illustration of the plausibility of cooperation between Israel and its neighbours in pursuit of mutually beneficial outcomes and shared goals.