Minister of Industry at Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Knowledge Forum: Tackles Challenges Facing the Industrial Sector in Jordan

AMMAN – HE Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh chaired a session organized by Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Knowledge Forum during which HE Eng. Yarub Qudah, Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply gave a presentation on  the theme "Challenges facing the Industrial Sector in Jordan"
Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh extended a warm welcome to the Minister at the session attended by all relevant parties, and focused special attention on the private sector highlighting the session as an opportunity for tackling the problems and challenges facing this vital sector.

Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh emphasized the partnership between the Ministry and the private sector in developing investment opportunities for this  important sector.  80% of  national product is represented by the service sector, however, despite the importance of the industrial sector, it is also the most problematic. Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh requested that the session end with suggestions and recommendations for reforming, improving and developing the current conditions in the industrial sector.
The Minister affirmed that seven years ago, the Kingdom’s qualified industrial zones became free from any Israeli factories or components; as a result of the expirey of the QIZ agreement. He  pointed out that the government is keen on boosting and supporting competitiveness within the industrial sector, to help it approach the various challenges and difficulties it faces.

 "The challenges are represented in export, obtaining finance, and the local added value. The Ministry pays a special attention to boosting the local added value, aiming to enhance the competitiveness and increase the return on Jordanian economy," he said.

  Qudah called upon industrialists to move forward and keep up with technology development in industries, as well as to network with local industrial institutions. He discouraged some Jordanian industries that use production inputs from outside Jordan, although the same inputs are available in the local market.

"The government backs the industrial sector, works on diversifying external markets and opening new markets for Jordanian exports such as African and European ones. Traditional Jordanian markets are: Iraqi, Yemeni, Libyan, Sudanese and Algerian markets with some markets facing instability, " he said.

"The Jordanian market has limited potentials, and our challenge is to recover these traditional markets. We started with Iraq as a stimulant," added Qudah. "The nature of Iraqi market and its players have changed."

In terms of the exemptions and incentives granted to the industrial sector, Qudah said "The sector enjoys a sizable package of exemptions and incentives, as the government offered, through the Central Bank, a portfolio of $350 million and a sum of $100 million have been pumped in the "Jordan Loan Guarantee Corporation" to support financing the industrial sector; besides enactment of some legislations, such as the movable assets law, addressing debt collaterals. In addition, we have made amendments to Companies law, in terms of venture capital."

"A total of JD32 million has been allocated for a program targeting to employ Jordanians, estimating the unemployed segment as many as 220,000 people, while the foreign labor coming from Egypt increases on annual basis by around 50,000 to 70,000 workers. The Jordanian markets hire about 1.2 million Egyptians and 400,000 other foreign workers, as 40% of Jordan residents are non-Jordanians," said Qudah.

Qudah stated that within the framework of stimulating the government to hire Jordanians, any institution that replaces a foreign worker with a Jordanian, would be granted incentives, such as paying only 50% of his salary, health insurance and social security fees for a complete year, in addition to paying  JD25 for worker's transportation.


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