Exports to Israel increased by 35.6 percent in the first ten months of 2000 compared to the same period of the previous year, the monthly report of the Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ) said.
The report said exports to Israel amounted to JD45.4 million in 2000 in the said period compared to JD29.2 million in 1999 in the same period. The CBJ's report did not give reasons behind the increase in exports but most of these products were manufactured in the Irbid Qualifying Industrial Zone (QIZ) and exported to Israel en route to the United States, enjoying duty-free and quota-free access to the US market.
The CBJ report also said that Iraq remained the Kingdom's largest trade partner with a trading volume of JD481.7 million. In the said period of 2000, Jordan exported goods worth JD84.7 million to Iraq, while it imported goods worth JD397 million from its neighbor, mostly oil and oil derivatives. Last year, the two countries agreed to increase the annual trade protocol to $450 million up from $300 million. The two countries are negotiating the establishment of a free trade zone.
Officials from the two countries hinted that the signing of such an agreement could be possible during the upcoming Arab summit, scheduled to be held in Amman on March 26. The report showed that Saudi Arabia ranked second trading partner among Arab states with a trading volume of JD164.3 million. Jordan's total exports in the first ten months of 2000 amounted to JD902.7 million compared to JD842.3 million in the same period of 1999. The Kingdom's exports to Arab states amounted to JD361.8 followed by exports to Asia which amounted to JD319 million, the report said. Jordan total imports in the first ten months of 2000 rose to JD2.5 billion compared to JD2.1 million in the same period of the previous year. Almost half of the goods imported in 2000 came from European countries, or JD860 million; Germany ranked first with JD301 million. The report indicated that India is the biggest importer of Jordanian-made products in Asia, with imports totaling JD153.3 million. Imports from Arab countries amounted to JD636.4 million, the report said.
The Kingdom's imports from Asia amounted to JD566.1 million, with Japan commanding one fifth of this figure or JD108 million, the report added. — ( Jordan Times )
By Tareq Ayyoub
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )