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French Version

Business Scene

JORDAN (Star) - * Jordanian exports to the Palestinian territories declined last year by 10.4 percent to JD 17.3 million. Imports were worth an estimated JD 9.3 million.

The trade balance between the two was JD 30 million in 2000. Jordanian exports to the Palestinian territories are subject to continual impediments by Israel over the last decade, most notably since the eruption of Palestinian uprising in September 2000. Over the last three years Jordanian exports across Jordan River were worth JD 62.5 million.
* A 100 percent exemption will be given this year on the industrial inputs in Jordan. Mahmoud Qdeishat, director general of the Customs Dept, said the government would reduce these tariffs gradually. Qdeishat, however, noted transit tariffs would remain for this year according to a joint agreement among Arab countries. He expects to see an increase in trade in the Kingdom over the coming months.

* The Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ) currently holds more than JD 4.44 billion in assets. Some JD 3.2 billion of these are in gold and foreign currencies. This year's assets are JD 200 million more than the same period last year. CBJ's reserves of JD 77.2 million are the same as last year. This amount includes JD 18 million in capital. Banks in Aqaba received more than JD 75 million in deposits in January. Banking credit facilities in the municipality are rapidly developing to adapt to the business demands of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone. In January the Aqaba banks loaned approximately JD 41 million.

* The oil pipeline between Jordan and Iraq is expected to begin operation in 2005. Minister of Energy, Mohammed Batayneh, said the ministry would begin receiving tenders for the $315 million-project on 16 April. The ministry will begin receiving tenders on the Egyptian-Jordanian gas pipeline on 21 April. Batayneh indicated the Ministry signed a $98 million agreement with the Indonesian Golden Spark Ezemi Co to develop Al Risheh gas field. The Indonesian company will spend $67 million in the coming four years, while Jordan's Petroleum Co will invest $31 million to deliver 150 million cubic meter of gas per day.

* The Jordanian trade deficit witnessed a 5.4 percent decline last year. This was due to JD 446 million increase in foreign exports to JD 1.63 billion. The industrial sector grew last year by 10.5 percent. Jordanian imports increased in 2001 to JD 3.43 billion, a per capita import increase of 2.5 percent to JD 663 in 2001. Reversionary numbers increased in January, though, by 3.7 percent. Economists say this is usual and due to the increase in fuel prices and sales tax.

* Italy is providing Jordan an $8.5 million loan to support small-medium sized enterprises in the Kingdom as part of the UNIDO's (UN Investment Development Organization) program to enhance Jordanian economic and social development among the low-income. The loan will be administered jointly with the Jordan Investment Board as well as through Italian businessmen and experts. This amount is part of the Italian government's 82.5 million euros (JD 52 million) in potential loan funds to Jordan for the 2000-2003 period.

* More than 1900 new companies and individual enterprises were registered at the Ministry of Trade and Industry in February 2002. These groups hold some JD 19.2 million in capital. Most of the companies are registered as commercial enterprises with JD 6.9 million in gross capital.

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