|Chinese-Jordanian bilateral relations reaping rewards
|Jordanian-Chinese business relations seem to be at an all time high.|
JORDAN (Star) - Jordanian-Chinese business relations seem to be at an all time high. Chinese businessmen continue to express their interest in establishing factories in the Kingdom because of the attractive investment environment. Recently a delegation headed by Assistant Governor of China's Jiangsu province Zhang Chang Sheng paid a visit to the Kingdom, meeting with high-ranking business officials. Sheng said the visit "reflect[ed] his country's interest in the Kingdom's economic development."
Jordan's successful foreign policies have provided a good business atmosphere for investment. "The delegation came to Jordan to investigate and seek new investment opportunities," Xu Xiaoxi, Counselor at the Economic and Commercial Office at the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Jordan told The Star.
Members of the delegation are presently involved in successful businesses in China, primarily manufacturing garments and electronic products.
Xiaoxi explained specialists in the delegation felt the US-Jordan Free Trade Agreement and QIZ facilities, which provide duty-free imports to US markets, would be a good opportunity for Chinese companies.
"China has a long history of friendship with Jordan. The friendly cooperation has developed a great deal in recent years under the promotion of leaders in both countries," she said.
His Majesty King Abdallah II visited China in December 1999 and in 2002. Hu Jintao, Vice-Chairman of China visited Jordan in January 2001. The visits built a good foundation for the future progress of bilateral business and trade relations. "The bilateral trade valued at $274 million in 2001 was 15 percent higher than that of the previous year," Xiaoxi explained.
More important is that Chinese companies have established several factories in Jordan, processing garments and electronic products. There are about 10 Chinese factories in the Kingdom while technical specialists in the delegation, primarily the Panda Group for electronics and another motor-specialized company, expressed their interest to start new investments in Jordan," said Xiaoxi.
Bilateral discussions have deepened the mutual understanding of the two countries in one another's investing environment. It was noted that the number of skilled Chinese laborers doubled between 2000-2001. "The number of workers increased to about 5000 now because of the QIZ in Jordan. Reports indicate exports of textiles and garments have increased to US markets. This is a sector in which Chinese workers excel," the Counselor explained.
China and Jordan have achieved a great deal of economic reform. Jordan is now a member of the WTO and China will be admitted by the WTO soon. "This is an opportunity for bilateral business and trade relations to develop more," says Xiaoxi. China has provided Jordan many kinds of aid since 1984, some RMB 280 million or $33 million.
Chinese officials encourage competitive enterprises to invest abroad with advanced technology and equipment. Future joint ventures and cooperation will gradually evolve from light industrial projects. "We believe these investments will not only improve the cooperation of the two countries in trade and technology. But also increase Jordanian employment and government taxes, which will contribute to Jordan's economic reforms and construction," clarified Xiaoxi. Departments concerned with economic relations have made an agreement to protect investment and another agreement to prevent double-taxation is in the works.
China exports a large number of products to Jordan: Fabrics, garments, electronic equipment, shoes, computers, telecommunication equipment and others. The only Jordanian product imported into China currently is Potash. In the year 2000 Jordan exported 400,000 tons of Potash to China, estimated to be worth $50 million.
"We hope Jordan can introduce more products to China. We continue to encourage our enterprises to come to invest and establish factories and broaden our products available to Jordan," Xiaoxi concluded.