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QIZ & FTA pacts with US not fully exploited
Jan '10
As is the case with other countries, exports from Jordan to the US fell to US $866 million in the period January to November 2009, against imports totaling to $1.09 billion in the same period of the previous year.

It may be recalled that Jordanian exports to the US had peaked at $1.42 billion in 2006. However, the actual decline began much earlier 2007 onwards, the year in which it sank to $1.33 billion and tanked further to $1.14 billion in 2008.

Most of the products which are exported to the US markets are shipped mainly under the mainly Qualifying Industrial Zones (QIZ) agreement or the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) signed between Jordan and the US.

Exports under both pacts entail duty-free access to the US markets. Under the FTA, Jordanian products must have at least 35 percent value-added content, while exports under the QIZ agreement, requires an 8 percent input from Israeli or West Bank regions.

Jordanian shipments to the US constitute clothing, jewellery and machinery while imports include vehicles, machinery, aircraft, cereals and electrical and medical equipment; though clothing exports take the lions share from amongst QIZ exports.

Experts attribute declining apparel exports to competition from QIZ's located in Egypt and also due to lack of knowledge of exporters on the norms to qualify for duty-free shipments under both the agreements.

Jordan and the US agreed last year, to establish satellite factories in urban areas under QIZ, under which Sterling Apparel Manufacturing Company which employs 250 Jordanians and Camel Textile Corporation where about 100 Jordanians, almost all women are employed, were set up.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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