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French Version

Business Scene

* Jordanís trade volume with the 14-member Free Arab Trade Zone in 2002 was JD 1.5 billion, increasing about 10.5 percent over 2001. The Kingdom suffered a trade deficit last year at JD 186.7 million, compared to JD 174 million in the previous year. A report by the Ministry of Trade and Industry stated the Kingdom exported goods to the zoneís member states at JD 629 million, while its imports increased in 2002 to JD 816 millions. The FATZ member states include the six Arab Gulf states, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.

The value and amount of bounced checks declined last year. According to the Central Bank of Jordan, the value of bad checks in 2002 was JD 486.5 million, JD 29 million less than in 2001, and made through 472,357 bad checks making about 5.5 percent of the 8.6 million checks circulated around the Kingdom last year. The Bankís report stated Jordanians circulated last year more than JD 12.9 billion in checks. About 52 percent of last yearís bad checks were rejected for insufficient funds, estimated at JD 252.5 million. The Central Bankís report indicated a rapid increase in the number of circulated checks at 814,500 and valued at JD 1.22 billion. About 7 percent of last Decemberís checks bounced and were estimated at JD 42 million.

* Jordanian expatriatesí remittances to the Kingdom in 2002 were estimated at $2.1 billion. Statistics by the Central Bank stated these remittances increased by more than 11 percent over 2001. In the first nine months of 2002, Jordanian remittances were $1.5 billion, while in 2001 remittances stood at JD 1.4 billion.Al Hassan Industrial Zone in Irbid exported JD 230,000 worth of products in 2002. About 80 percent of these exports were in weaving and clothing, valued at JD 188 million. In 2001, the zone exported goods worth JD 190 million. Sources at the Jordan Investment Board, meanwhile, indicated earlier it is discussing plans to increase foreign investment in local trade and commercial businesses to 100 percent. The sources said such plans aim to enhance foreign investments currently at 50 percent.

* The government is allocating JD 15 million in annual subsidies to local municipalities. Minister of Rural and Municipal Affairs Abdel Razzaq Tbaishat indicated last week the government is working on plans to hold municipal elections scheduled for 5 July. He said the elections are important to ensure economic and social reforms in the governorates. Tbaishat added the government wants to decentralize its activities by delegating central authority to each municipality.

* The World Bankís International Finance Corporation allocated $50 million in funds for the Kingdom during 2003. About half of these funds will be to the electronic and IT-related industries. The corporation also has assets in tourism and financial sectors. Sami Haddad, director of the IFCís Middle East and North Africa Dept., said the corporation wants to make sure the business environment in the Kingdom is growing, to encourage greater foreign investments. One of the IFCís projects is the one conducted by the Middle East Complex, valued at JD 27.4 million. The project aims at increasing Jordanís production of electronic appliances and heavy industries. The IFC granted $19 million to the MECís project.

* The National Bank of Kuwaitís forthcoming branch in Jordan later this year will act as a regional office for the bankís investments in the region. Ibrahim Dabdoub, the bankís executive officer, said the branch, which is planned to be opened in June, will help in supervising the regional investments and businesses owned by the bank in Arab countries. The NBK branch will open at JD 20 million in capital and will provide more than 200 jobs for Jordanians. Last year, the NBK made $355 million in profits.

The Star

Some Marks
To see in Jordan
Fairs & Exhibitions
Useful Addresses
Media of 1stjordan
Impact of 1stjordan
The 'First Jordan' Card
Press Book
Exotica - Flowers - Shopping on line
Engineering Consultants Lebanon
Nsouli Jewelry Lebanon
Hotel Beirut Lebanon
Rent Villas France for Holidays, Seasonal Rentals France
Sole Agent for Philips & Whirlpool in Lebanon
Arab Printing Press Lebanon
Hotel Beirut Lebanon
Arabic Music, CD Arabia
Hotels Syria
Groupe PMR