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French Version

Jordan-US website set to improve trade relations

Jordan’s business opportunities in the US can now be enhanced through Internet technology.

Businessmen and investors can now explore opportunities to reach American markets by surfing an extensive and informative website about Jordan-US trade relations. The www.jordanusfta.com, is a practical resource for Jordanian companies to learn more about trade and investment opportunities with the US.

The website is part of the Kingdom’s strive to upgrade its trade relations with the United States through the Free Trade Agreement. It also helps Jordanian companies and businessmen to be more competitive particularly in the area of exports. The website anchors the US-Jordan FTA for their interests, determining their right trails in reaching US markets and world markets.

Minister of Industry and Trade, Salah Al Bashir said the FTA with the US is opening doors for Jordanian businesses to the largest economy in the world. With around $550 million in mutual trade, business relations between the US and Jordan witnessed rapid development since the FTA was signed between Jordan and the US in October 2001. “The increasing volume of trade with the US leads to the enhancing of efficiency and effectiveness of Jordanian companies in world trade,” Al Bashir said.

“Since the signing of FTA with the US, Jordan already exceeded its targets for increased exports to the US by sevenfold.” The www.jordanusfta.com is a virtual hub of practical tools. It is the breakthrough of the TIJARA coalition in Jordan. The coalition is a public-private partnership that makes good on the free trade agreement between Jordan and the US, which entered into force on 17 December 2001. The Jordan-US FTA is the first with an Arab country and the fourth following FTAs with Canada, Mexico and Israel.

Jordanian trade expert Rasim Abderrahim believes the website is a comprehensive resource of information to the business environment in Jordan. “It shows the significance of trade relations between the business associations in Jordan and their counterparts in the US,” Abderrahim told The Star. “Any future trade relations between the two countries need to be based on the opportunities JUSFTA is providing for Jordanian businesses and are available now on the website.” Local businesses need to enhance their exports worldwide through the US markets.

The website is paving way for mutual partnerships and having new opportunities in Jordanian exports. A full text of the FTA agreement is displayed on the website. Besides, the site gives details on trading in goods and services, tariff elimination schedules, tool kits and tutorials. There is also information on the US and Jordanian regulations concerning environmental standards, intellectual property rights and labor regulations.

Users will have access to tens of thousands of international trade resources, including customs information in Jordan and the US, the export-import statistics between the two countries and instructions on the electronic trade opportunities in the US. Jordanian investors and business associations can easily understand the depth of their trade relations with the US by surfing the ‘Business Opportunities’ section. “It is difficult for any exporter to study the US market without having studied his/her exportable products and services,” said the website. “However, an understanding of the US market must be based on the targeted product or service [eligible] for exports.” The US Commercial Service Bureau at the US Embassy in Amman is linked to the website.

It provides information for US exporters/investors looking for potential business partners, valuable market intelligence and ways to launch American-led companies in Jordan. The bureau is part of a global network of trade specialists dedicated to supporting US trade interests worldwide. The website is a cross-association business opportunity finder and businesses matched between Jordanian and US companies. Abderrahim noted the website will initiate a new plan called ‘Business Match-making Process’ to explore the electronic trade opportunities between the two countries.

“The plan is vital for local business associations to find their matches in the US, where trade relations between the two countries can promote their trade relations through the electronic capabilities,” said Abderrahim, who is president of the Export Expert Program in Jordan. Abderrahim’s program was established in 1999 as Jordan’s private export development project aims to develop the exporting capacity and electronic trade capabilities of small/medium businesses. “Our primary goal is to qualify competent professionals to serve as export experts in their relevant professions in industry, trade and services,” he explained.

On the US’s part, American exporters are capable of finding interest in establishing warehouses, distribution centers, showrooms and logistical centers in wide ranging Jordanian industries. These include fast-moving consumer goods, cosmetics, agricultural materials, automobiles and medical equipment. Pharmaceuticals are also potentials, making $200 million in exports in 2001. Jordanian pharmaceuticals created a world-class patent system through legislation, infrastructure development and enforcement.

This enabled the sector to achieve a gradual increase in foreign investments and expand their commercial and research activities in the Kingdom. Abderrahim said Jordanian pharmaceuticals can define their potentials on the website. He, however, reiterated pharmaceuticals need first to identify their requirements to enter US markets. “Jordanians must recognize the importance of trade in fostering economic growth and building a brighter future for all. This website helps Jordanians to reap the benefits of the FTA with the US,” Al Bashir concluded.

Ghassan Joha
The Star

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