Fourth QIZ Inaugurated in Jordan
Jordan's fourth qualifying industrial zone (QIZ) was inaugurated on Wednesday for the production of goods mainly destined for the US, reported the Jordan Times.
The QIZs are expected to spur the region's apparel and textile exports to the United States.
The chairman of the Dleil QIZ, Jack Khayyat, said foreign companies that launch projects in the zone, located 45 kilometres east of Amman, would be granted the same privileges as firms in other QIZs, especially customs-free export of their products to the United States.
Khayyat said 12 foreign companies had already begun projects in the Dleil zone, valued at a total of $60 million, mainly in textile industries.
Khayyat said those firms were expected to open up 6,000 job opportunities by the end of this year, adding that residents of the area would benefit from the total 20,000 job opportunities expected to be created in the next two years.
He said the firms operating in the zone were from Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan and India.
The QIZs in Jordan, which are part of a US-promoted program to encourage Arab-Israeli projects, are part of Washington's endeavor to boost peace in the Middle East.
Jordanian and Israeli manufacturers must each contribute at least 20 percent of the total production costs of manufacturing QIZ products.
Production costs may include original materials, wages and salaries, and design.
Many foreign investors are making use of the low-cost labor force in Jordan in their projects. In fact, one company operating in Israel has already expressed interest in moving to Jordan to escape a law requiring employers to pay a higher minimum wage.
Currently, the Al Hassan Industrial Zone in Irbid, the Sahab Industrial Zone, and the Karak Industrial Zone are operating to benefit from QIZ advantages.
The world's first qualifying industrial zone (QIZ) was established in Irbid, Jordan, under the framework of the United States-Israel Free Trade Area Agreement.
Offering duty-free access to the United States, among other benefits, the production center was established in 1998 under the designation of the US trade representative – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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