Monday, 25 October 2021 05:18 GMT

Economists urge robust planning to bridge trade deficit with EU


(MENAFN- Jordan News Agency) Amman, Oct. 6 (Petra) -- Economists and key business community figures have called for robust planning and the introduction of effective programs to propel Jordanian exports to EU markets after the Kingdom's trade deficit with the bloc surged to JD1.3 billion in the first half of 2021.
They told Petra that all government stakeholders should review product costs, devise better marketing plans for Jordanian products in the European continent and ensure that the Kingdom's embassies and missions abroad play a greater role in this effort.
According to official data, the Kingdom's exports to EU members in the first six months of the current year stood at JD96 million against JD1.4 billion in imports. The Netherlands was the top destination for Jordanian exports in the reporting period accounting for JD20 million, while Germany was the top exporter to Jordan with JD279 million.
Chemicals, textiles, precious metals and plant products are the main Jordanian exports to the EU, while machinery, metals, pharmaceutical products, cars and their parts, and grains are the main imports.
President of the Jordan-Europe Business Association (JEBA) Jamal Badran said that the widening gap in the trade balance between Jordan and EU countries is driven by a decrease in agricultural exports to the Union, which were passing through the Syrian ports. He explained that the suspension of land transport led to resorting to other routes, i.e. direct shipping at a high cost.
He also mentioned technical obstacles, including the specifications and conditions required for export to EU countries, poor marketing of Jordanian products, and the fact that agricultural and food products and industries are excluded from the new rules of origin simplification agreement.
Badran also blamed the high operating costs of Jordanian industries and their inability to market their products, in addition to the lack of financial and technical support for most of the national industries so that their products meet European standards.
Musa al-Saket, an economist, said that the fact that imports from EU countries have been exempted from customs duties since 2002 has increased Jordan's imports, causing a widening trade deficit with European countries.
He added that the high production costs and the weak competitiveness of national products were an obstacle to increasing Jordanian exports, calling for a review of production costs and support for Jordanian exporters.

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