Expertise and skills crucial to advance trade prospects for Jordan
Human capital and skills are critical for the business environment in Jordan to flourish as they can play an integral role in export development, said the Executive Director of the International Trade Centre, Arancha González. She stressed the need to enhance the expertise in human resources to match the economic ambitions of the country in advancing its agricultural, manufacturing and services sectors. Ms González added that talent in management, and research and development, are important prerequisites for corporate governance and innovation to spur growth.
Speaking in Amman at the launch of the country’s National Export Strategy (NES) by the Government of Jordan on 27 May 2014, the Executive Director said the economic blueprint will drive Jordan’s trade competitiveness and generate export-related activities along the global value chain. Ms González stated that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Jordan, which are largely family-owned stand to benefit from the economic potential that would open up through a boost in sector competitiveness.
‘International buyers want consistent and predictable quality standards, and Jordan would need to reinforce its specialized and accredited laboratories, particularly in agriculture. Buyers also look for competitive prices, adequate volumes and on-time delivery,’ said Ms González. ‘In an energy-dependent country such as Jordan, reducing input costs will be of the utmost importance and will involve improvements and modernization of production lines as well as changes in logistics, road infrastructure and customs practices.’
The NES promotes six priority sectors, namely fresh fruits and vegetables; prepared and preserved meat; electrical wires and cables; paints; management consulting; and architecture and engineering services. These sectors have significant potential to promote technological development and export growth. The Executive Director noted that in recent years, the services sector in Jordan have driven the highest share of value added services to the country’s GDP – close to 70%, followed by manufacturing with around 20%. She expressed confidence that the positive trend will continue as businesses in Jordan capitalize on the significant trade opportunities in regional and global markets.