The association agreement signed between Jordan and European Union  (EU) states did not increase Jordanian exports to European markets, according to Senator Ziad Al Homsi, chairman of the Amman Chamber of Industry (ACI).
“The balance of trade tilted heavily in favour of the EU as Jordanian exports toatlled $142 million, whereas imports exceeded $2.5 billion,” an ACI press statement quoted Homsi as saying on Monday.
“Exports to Germany amounted to $7.3 million while imports reached more than $900 million,” Homsi added during a ceremony held by the ACI to mark the opening of an economic cooperation office at its premises.
The ceremony was attended by Ralph Tarraf, ambassador of Federal Republic of Germany to Jordan, and Khaldun Abu Hassan, chairman of the Jordanian-German Business Council.
According to Homsi, the Jordanian benefit from the association agreement with the EU is still limited, despite of its importance, compared with other trade agreements  such as the Greater Arab Free Trade Area Agreement and the Free Trade Agreement with the US.
In the press statement, the ACI chairman mentioned legislative and regulatory barriers imposed by the EU , and the rules of origin requirements related to the Jordanian-European Association Agreement as the most important obstacle that faces Jordanian exports  to European markets.
He underlined the importance of German technology transfer to the Jordanian industrial sector to qualify it to export to the European markets.
Tarraf said Jordan possess a solid industry capable of entering the European markets, adding that the German embassy will contribute to strengthening economic relations between both countries through several programmes, among them the economic cooperation office that was opened at the ACI with the support of German Agency for International Cooperation.
Fahmi Al Najjar, the Jordan-German economic cooperation consultant, indicated that an integrated information network will be built through scientific consultancy centres and industry experts, in addition to expos and forums which will be held in Germany.
Moreover, there will be full information about the German market, export and import mechanisms, in order to assist Jordanian companies which are keen to export products to Germany, and also help to import machines and production lines from Germany.
The office will avail for companies and factories to benefit from the Senior Experts Service (SES) programme supported by the German government, which comprises more than 11,000 experts in all managerial and technical fields, to provide assistance for companies and institutions in developing countries voluntarily and at low costs, especially for the small- and medium-sized enterprises.
“The expert will be recruited upon the company’s request, and depending on the sector and tasks demanded, the services can also be utilised in the health, tourism, management and other aspects,” the statement said.
“Ministries and official institutions can also benefit from the SES programme,” it added indicating that nine industrial companies applied for this service besides two governmental ministries during the past period.