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National exports increase but still below desired levels — minister

AMMAN — Total exports increased by 3.4 per cent during the first five months of this year but growth rate is still below expectations, the trade minister said on Thursday.

Participating in the fourth Forum for Economic Attaches at Arab and foreign embassies in the Kingdom, Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply Tareq Hammouri expressed his hope for a 10-15 per cent annual increase in exports.

The government is committed to increasing the volume of exports, expanding the base of products and targeting new markets, especially with the EU, the minister said, in a statement carried by the Jordan News Agency, Petra.

Hammouri noted that efforts were under way by the Jordan Chamber of Industry and urged industrialists to benefit from the EU relaxed rules of origin agreement. The agreement was signed in 2016 and then amended end of last year.

He also stressed the importance of Jordanian exports to US markets and highlighted the need for a wider variety of products, most of which today are from the clothing sector, according to Petra.

Hammouri added that the greatest challenge the industry is currently facing is a shortage of information on programmes and agreements that support industrialists. 

EU Ambassador to Jordan Andrea Fontana highlighted the existence of a wide range of opportunities available to help drive the growth of Jordanian exports to the EU’s markets. 

The ambassador reiterated that Jordan should make use of the relaxed rules of origin agreement and raise the industrial sector’s awareness about the facilities the EU provides.