November's exports of Al-Hassan Industrial Estate rebounded from their October levels, official figures revealed. According to the Irbid Chamber of Industry's monthly report, total exports of the Irbid-based facility have increased by $3 million during November, up to $16 million.
According to Maher Nasser, chairman of the Irbid Chamber of Industry (ICI), the sudden drop was due to the deadly Palestinian-Israeli clashes, which put on hold any business deals, Israelis and Jordanian business people had planned.
“Many transactions could not be concluded during the first month of violence, as many Israelis were deterred from entering the Kingdom to do business with their Jordanian counterparts,” said Nasser. “However, during the second month of violence, things started to pick up as businessmen on both sides of the border, realized that work has to continue” he added in an interview.
Last month, said the report, the US absorbed the largest chunk of exports from the estate 45 per cent of the total, valued at more than $7.1 million. Israel, once Jordan's arch enemy, came second importing 35 percent of the states' output. The report, a copy of which was obtained by the Jordan Times, showed that goods produced within the estate and destined to Israel, stood at over $5.6 million. But, according to Nasser, between 70-80 per cent of Israeli imports from the estate, are re-exported to the US.
QIZs (Qualifying Industrial Zones) provide investors with the opportunity of full duty-free and quota free access to the US market. But, in order for a commodity produced in a QIZ to receive free entry to the US market, at least 8 percent of the product's inputs must be of Israeli origin.
According to Nasser, only ten of the 82 factories operating in the Irbid-based estate manufacture under the QIZ agreement. The rest, he explained, produce as Jordanian manufactures, and export mostly to Arab countries, mainly Iraq and the Saudi Arabia. — ( Jordan Times )
By Rana Awwad
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)