A new how-to guide has been launched for Jordanian manufacturers wanting to start exporting to the European Union, which recently eased its rules of origin for products made in the Kingdom as part of efforts to mitigate the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis.
“If you enter the EU, it’s very easy to move your goods from one country to another. If you are a business owner, then you don’t want vague recommendations. The guide gives you very clear instructions on what is required to take the next step,” said Cedric van Oene, a trade policy advisor from the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which helped organize a series of workshops to familiarize Jordanian companies with the guide in cooperation with USAID.
The guide was created by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply and is funded by USAID Jordan’s competitiveness program. The cosmetic, chemical, and textile sectors showed the most interest in the workshops, while interest was more limited from the furniture, engineering appliance, and electrical appliance sectors, said Oene. He added there was a lot of interest in the international contract terms for goods transport and how to find buyers in the European market.
“SMEs which have exported into the region and to neighboring countries will need a different strategy to export into the EU and for this you will need a plan,” he said. “One of the things included in the guide is an export plan which is very useful for SMEs not familiar with the export process.”
In return for Jordan opening up its labor market to Syrian refugees, the Jordan Compact secured $1.7 billion in grants, low-interest loans, and pledges from the international community. The Kingdom has received almost $924 million in funding and improved trade conditions with the EU market through a 10-year relaxed rules of origin trade agreement, the first deal of its kind between the EU and any Middle Eastern country.
The relaxed rules are applied to a list of industrial products including paints, chemicals, cosmetics, apparel, buses and furniture.