Jordan, Israel look for US go-ahead to set up 4 new QIZs
Jordan and Israel have agreed to ask the US for the green light to set up four qualifying industrial zones (QIZs) in the Kingdom, a senior Trade Ministry official said on Monday.
“There is an increasing demand for such zones,” Samir Emeish, the ministry's secretary general, told the Jordan Times. “Designating more parks in different areas of the Kingdom will provide investors with various options that meet their needs.”
Two of the parks would be set up in Amman, while the remaining two would be designated for Aqaba and the governor of Irbid.
If these parks materialize, the number of QIZs in Jordan will reach nine. Emeish said such zones were expected to create some 20.000 job opportunities.
Under a Jordan-Israeli agreement signed on Sunday, customs authorities in the two countries will draw up special custom procedures to ensure a speedy flow of goods in and out of the zones and will oversee the strict enforcement of duty and taxation legislation.
Under US laws, to receive the QIZ duty-free status, Israeli and Jordanian manufacturers in the zones would have to contribute at least 19.7 percent of the value of the materials used in the production of goods shipped to the US. According to the Jordan Investment Board, the remaining input needed to reach an overall 35 percent minimum content could come from, either Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, a Jordanian QIZ or the US.
Emeish said the Jordanian production input in the QIZs would amount to 11.7 percent of the minimum total 35 percent content. He said Israel would have to contribute an additional eight percent.
The QIZs are the centerpiece of US-Israeli-Jordanian efforts to deliver an elusive peace dividend to disenchanted Jordanians.
Three years ago, the first of Jordan's five existing QIZs was set up in Irbid. The zones have attracted global multinationals seeking duty-free access to US markets.
“It is up to investors to decide what products they will process in the QIZs, since there are no limitations on the type of products or quotas,” Emeish stressed. – (Jordan Times)
By Suha Ma'ayeh
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)