Jordan’s trade deficit jumped 40 percent last year compared to the year before, as a 10 percent growth in national exports and re-exported goods could not offset a 22 percent rise in imports, official data released on Tuesday, February 13, showed.
Preliminary figures obtained from the Department of Statistics (DoS) revealed that national exports increased by JD28 million during the whole of 2000 compared to 1999, while re-exported goods rose by JD18 million. Meanwhile, imports saw a JD583 million rise.
Iraq stood firm as Jordan's largest trading partner, with two-way trade totaling JD585 million in the 12-month period of 2000, versus JD376 the previous year, growing by 55 percent.
A November agreement to raise the Jordanian-Iraqi trade protocol to $450 million from $300 million this year, combined with the expansion of the scope of Jordanian products admitted under the protocol prompted business leaders to expect Jordanian exports to exceed JD1 billion in 2001.
Saudi Arabia was the second largest Arab market for Jordanian products during last year, with exports worth JD92 million in 2000, according to the DoS data.
On the international level, India was the biggest consumer of local goods, buying some JD172 million worth of Jordanian exports, mostly phosphate and its by-products.
On the imports front, Germany was the number two exporter to the Kingdom after Iraq, with goods estimated at JD372 million. — ( Jordan Times )
By Rana Awwad
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )