Story: Jordan textile and clothing companies forge ahead (en)

25 août 2020
ITC Nouvelles
The determination of Jordanian textile and clothing businesses to survive the pandemic is strong, a recent survey reveals.

In business for the last 90 years, the Al Qadri family is a well-known name in the textile and clothing sector in Jordan. Their women’s wear creations are particularly popular. However, the company was hit hard by COVID-19.

“We had to completely stop our production for a few months. With years of work and dedication, it was not easy to watch the impact that the crisis had on our company and local sales and exports,” Engineer Ihab Qadri explains.

The company used creativity to come up with a strategy to deal with a difficult period. It used the lockdown as an opportunity for the family business to reinvent itself. “We transformed the challenge into an opportunity as the company used the curfew period for studying and evaluating our work and achievements of the past few years,” explained Ihab Qadri.

Qadri worked with a medical company to bring their idea to life. After obtaining mandatory clearances from the Jordan Food and Drug Administration (JFDA) and the Royal Scientific Society, the company received authorisation to produce a new product line called QSAFE.

“With our new line QSAFE, we were able to overcome some of the challenges faced due to the crisis. Our company now produces 2000 medical masks every day, ready to be sold at home and abroad,” said Qadri. They will also begin producing medical textiles to help meet global demands for these products.

Al Qadri is among the enterprises who participated in the International Trade Centre’s COVID-19 impact assessment survey conducted earlier this year. The survey aimed to study the impact of the pandemic on the apparel manufacturing industry in Jordan. Twenty-one of the participant companies had been receiving support from MENATEX.

According to the results of the survey, nearly all surveyed companies faced operational challenges due to the pandemic. Ninety-four percent of the participants experienced a decline in sales to local consumers. Half of the respondents reported difficulties in importing inputs and 26% of the companies faced issues in domestic procurement.

Eighty-five percent of the participant companies had to temporarily halt production.

Fifty-nine percent of the group stands ready to expand to local and regional markets. Forty-seven percent of companies intend to invest in digital platforms and e-commerce.

The International Trade Centre’s MENATEX project will continue to enable small and medium-sized enterprises to tackle the challenges posed by the pandemic and quickly get back into the market. Efforts will focus on streamlining production methodologies, improving quality as well as technical and operational capacity, discovering new offline and online markets and compliance with environmental and social responsibility standards.