|Defraying snow losses|
* Insurance companies in the Kingdom are expected to defray losses incurred following the recent snowstorm. Experts estimate reparation costs due to the last snowstorm at more than JD 5 million. Maher Al Hussein, secretary general of the Jordan Insurance Federation, reiterated that natural disasters are not included in the insurance policies. But said the insurance companies must cooperate to pay for the damages that took place during and after the snowstorm.
* Women make 16 percent of the workforce in Jordan. A study conducted by Dr Amal Al Kharouf, from the University of Jordan, pointed that 21 percent of women are unemployed. The study noted 97.3 percent of employed women are working in the public sector, while 2.2 percent run their own businesses. It emphasized the fact that women of age group 25-39 make almost half of the employed women both in the private and public sectors. Al Kharouf called for amendments to the Labor Law concerning the employed women, to grant them more rights during working hours.
Disabling land mines
* More than 86,500 land mines were destroyed so far in Jordan. There are still 5800 land mines not destroyed in the Kingdom, and must be dealt with by the end of this April. The overall cost of destroying all mines is worth $511 million. Jordan began destroying its land mines more than six years ago, mostly near the Kingdom’s borders with Israel. So far, Jordan concluded nine of the 10 stages for destroying all land mines.
Irbid’s QIZ prospers
* Al Hassan Industrial Zone in Irbid exported $25.7 million in goods in February, an increase of 20 percent over the same period last year. Most of the zone’s exports went to the US markets. Sales of textiles and garments totaled $24.1 million in February, an increase of 64 percent over the same period last year. Outputs of Leather, fertilizers and industrial products have also increased gradually over the last month. The zone received lately more foreign investors who aimed at taking advantage of the zone’s privileges.
* Jordan’s Royal Wings and the Palestinian Airlines reached an agreement last week to launch linked flights twice a week between Amman and Al Arish airports. The flights will be launched on board RJ’s planes. Palestinian passengers will have to go to Al Arish airport in Egypt rather than Gaza Airport, which Israel shut down for more than two years. The Palestinian Airlines’ planes are undergoing restoration works in Europe due to Israeli measures.
Tourism in 2002
* More than 1.6 million tourists visited Jordan in 2002 generating JD 545 million in revenues, an increase of 10 percent over 2001. The Ministry of Tourism is currently executing the second phase of the tourism development project at $32 million. Furthermore, JD 79 million are allocated to the renovation plans of all Jordan’s tourist sites, and the enhancement of their productivity. Tourism experts in Jordan called on the government to promote the ‘wellness tourism’ and take advantage of the concerned sites, including the Dead Sea and Ma’een Spa.
EFB’s profits account
* The Exports and Finance Bank earned JD 5.5 million in profits last year, an increase of 10 percent over 2001, which helped the bank to cover its increased expenditures. The bank’s assets also increased by 15 percent to JD 273 million. It is expected the bank will raise its capital to JD 34.5 million in April. Shareholders’ rights at the bank increased last year by 17 percent to JD 37.6 million.