Industrial exports make up 25% of GDP and rising, JEA

1. Aqaba port
Industrial exports make up 90 percent of the Kingdom's total exports. (Photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — The value of Jordan’s industrial exports has increased from JD500 million to JD5 billion over the last two decades, constituting today 25 percent of the GDP, sector leaders said.اضافة اعلان

Industrial exports, which today make up 90 percent of the Kingdom's total exports, reach 142 countries, Ahmed Khudari, president of Jordan Exporters Association (JEA), told Jordan News Saturday.

Khudari said that this achievement is due to bilateral and regional free trade agreements (FTAs), such as the ones with the US and Canada, the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership and the Greater Arab Free Trade Agreement, as well as to Jordan’s joining the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Khudari, who is also deputy president of the Amman Chamber of Industry, said that the COVID-19 crisis has revealed the need for Jordan to become self-reliant, increase production, and expand and diversify existing industrial investments to reach self-sufficiency in many commodities, in a way that supports the national security.

He noted that boosting exports is a solution for many economic challenges, including unemployment, as finding new markets will require increased production, and thus more labor force, in addition to increasing the inflow of hard currency and improving the balance of trade.

The official said that the association works on increasing exports by participating in international exhibitions in many markets, including the US, Canada, Australia, Africa, and the Gulf countries, adding that Jordan will take part in the Gulfood Expo, which starts on February 13.

He added that JEA is sending a trade mission to South American countries like Argentina and Chile to look for new markets.

Khudari called for establishing central warehouses for Jordanian products in countries like the US to facilitate supply to companies, especially leading online retail companies, by avoiding shipping complications that take longer time.

According to figures from the Department of Statistics (DoS), products that top Jordanian exports are chemicals and textiles followed by metals and foodstuff.

In 2020, the value of Jordanian food exports reached JD307 million, while it stood at JD279 million the year before, according to DoS.

Economist Wajdi Makhamreh told Jordan News that the Jordanian industry requires more support from the public sector, and that could be lent by establishing a partnership with the private sector to help Jordanian products reach new markets.

Makhamreh called for continuous evaluation of trade agreements with other countries to assess their benefits to the Jordanian economy.

Yousef Damrah, an economy expert, called for supporting the industrial sector through more incentives and reducing production costs, especially that of energy.

Damrah also said countries that Jordan does not export to should be explored and the reasons addressed; they might be high costs of shipping or price of commodities upon arrival at destination.

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