Ehab Qadri, a board member from the Jordan Chamber of Industry, has urged the Jordan government to review and include the garments and leather industries among the sectors benefitting from the recently announced package of incentives. According to Qadri, the sector represents about 29% of the total employment in the industrial sector and accounts for 26% of the total national exports, which increased 8% in the first eight months of 2019; the garment and leather exports are said to have accounted for more than 35% of this increase. The contribution of the garment and leather industries sector to the national GDP has doubled over the last two years to reach about 1.7%, according to Qadri. Furthermore, the sector employed an estimated 74,000 people in 2018, representing a 119% increase since 2010.

Rajai Muasher, Jordan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State, said during an official panel discussion held in Amman on October 27 that job creation is the main aim of the government’s comprehensive plan to improve the national economy, but that not all businesses require the same incentives and these should be based on commitment to achieving certain milestones, such as energy reduction.

In August 2016, Jordan and the International Monetary Fund agreed to a US$723 million under the Extended Fund Facility Program (EFF) in order to lower Jordan’s debt levels and fiscal imbalance. In 2017, the Government of Jordan is said to have undertaken a number of difficult structural fiscal measures to raise US$635 million in government revenues. Debt-burdened, Jordan is faced with rising unemployment that has worsened with the influx of Syrian refugees; unemployment in 2016 stood at 15.25%, up from 12.5% in 2010. Jordan’s “2025 Vision” plan targets a GDP of 7.5% by 2025.

Source: Jordan Times