Significant hike in imports of clothing, footwear

shops shoe
A local shoe shop storefront. (File photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — Jordan imported clothing and footwear worth JD153 million in the first half of this year, a significant increase over the same period of last year.اضافة اعلان

In 2021, imports of such items were worth JD90 million, attributed by Sultan Allan, head of the Textile and Readymade Clothes Syndicate, to the “recovery of the national economy from the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic”.

Allan told Jordan News that despite the increase, “we have not yet reached the rate of imports we were accustomed to”, and commercial activity is not as vibrant, a state of affairs he blames on the “postal parcels”.

“Jordan is the only country that distinguishes postal parcels from traditional trade; it imposes higher fees and taxes on traditional trade,” he said.

“The concerned authorities must set things right in order to revive the commercial activity,” he said, stressing that despite the several holidays and the advent of summer, markets did not witness brisk trade.

Worse, there is an unprecedented number of clothes in stock that traders were unable to dispose of, Allan said.

“The purchasing power of citizens is weak”, and if they can buy, they prefer postal parcels, Allan pointed out.

Asaad Qawasmi, representative of the clothing sector at the Jordan Chamber of Commerce, said that “the increase in the value of imports does not mean better trade in the markets”.

On the contrary, it “is very weak, due to a noticeable drop in the purchasing power of citizens”, he told Jordan News.

“We had hoped that conditions would improve during Eid Al-Adha period, but things did not happened as we had hoped,” he said. “One of the reasons may be that Tawjihi exams coincided with the holidays; another is that citizens’ priorities have changed.”

Qawasmi stressed that “the postal parcel has become an unfair competitor and it has greatly affected the traditional retail sector”.

“We are not against postal parcels, which is a legitimate right of citizens, we are only against the unfair competition due to high taxes and fees imposed on traders, which contributed significantly to a state of stagnation and the accumulation of goods in stock,” he added.

While Qawasmi did not forecast a major recovery in commercial activity in the coming period, he expressed hope that “the wedding seasons will be an opportunity for traders to improve their situation”.

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