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Strategic Location & Market Access

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Strategic Location
ASEZ, Jordan’s gateway to global commerce and a premier tourist destination is strategically located at the crossroads of four countries and three continents. Situated on the northern tip of the Red Sea on the Gulf of Aqaba, the ASEZ covers approximately 375km2, and extends to the land borders of Saudi Arabia and Israel, and the territorial waters of Egypt.

Trade Agreements

Jordan - US Free Trade Agreement
The Jordan - U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA), signed on October 24, 2000 and ratified on September 24, 2001, eliminates duties and commercial barriers to bilateral trade in goods and services originating in the United States and Jordan. The FTA also includes, for the first time ever in the text of a trade agreement, separate sets of substantive provisions addressing trade and environment, trade and labor, and electronic commerce. Other provisions address intellectual property rights protection, balance of payments, rules of origin, safeguards and procedural matters such as consultations and dispute settlement.

The FTA will eliminate tariffs on virtually all trade between the two countries within 10 years. The tariff reductions are in four stages: Current tariffs of less than 5 percent will be phased out in two years; those that are now between 5 and 10 percent will be eliminated in four years, those between 10 and 20 percent will be gone in five years, and those that are now more than 20 percent will be eliminated in 10 years.

Qualifying Industrial Zones (QIZ)
Jordan has been granted the privilege to establish Qualified Industrial Zones (QIZ's), which provide duty-free access to the US market for products manufactured in Jordan without any quota restrictions. Qualified manufacturers are operating in the Aqaba International Industrial Estate, a designated QIZ that benefit from this agreement. The agreement stipulates that for a product to be qualified for QIZ benefits, at least 35 per cent of the appraised value must be shared by Jordanians and Israeli sources, with possible input by the Americans or the Palestinians. The QIZ is a tool to promote peace and stimulate the Jordanian economy, and represents an unprecedented opportunity to gain duty-free and quota free access to the US Market, the world’s largest and most affluent consumer market.

Accession of Jordan to World Trade Organization
Jordan became the 136th WTO member on April 11, 2000 following major economic and legislative reforms and highlighting Jordan’s commitment to market liberalization, privatization, liberalized telecommunications and financial services. Jordan is among the most advanced countries in the area of intellectual property rights, and has passed legislation that protects copyrights, patents, and industrial designs.

Jordan – EU Association Agreement
The Euro-Jordanian Association Agreement with Jordan was signed on November 24 1997. Its main objective is to create a free trade area between EU and Jordan by the year 2010 and to establish a comprehensive framework for political, trade, economic and financial cooperation. This agreement shall offer manufacturers duty-free access to the European markets.
This agreement is intended to make it easier for Jordanian business to export to the EU, and for EU companies to do business in Jordan. This is a two way process offering equal opportunities for both Jordanian and European companies.

Accord d'Agadir
The declaration is named after the Moroccan city in which it was introduced in May 2001 and in which Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Jordan expressed their intention to set up a Free Trade Area among themselves.

The accord aims at boosting the competitiveness of member countries and allowing their products into European Union (EU) markets, in addition to expanding cooperation, commercial exchange and free trade between the four participating states. The Agadir Agreement spectrum includes customs, services, certificates of origin, government purchases, financial dealings, preventive measures, intellectual property, standards and specifications, dumping and mechanisms to resolve conflicts. The Free Trade Zone will make up a market of more than 100 million people and a combined domestic product of nearly 150 € billion.

The Ministers agreed on the establishment of four bodies to ensure the implementation of the agreement: the Committee of Foreign Ministers, the Committee of Foreign Trade Ministries, the Technical Committee and a Technical, which will be based in Amman.

Arab Free Trade Agreement (AFTA)
In March 1998, Jordan along with ten Arab countries signed the Arab Free Trade Agreement according to which all Arab products moving among Arab member states will be afforded the status of national goods in accordance with the principle of gradual liberalization. By way of annual reductions of 10% of customs duties, fees and taxes, goods are scheduled to be moving duty-free among the States through the establishment of the Arab Free Trade Zone by 2008. As a result Jordan is expected to attract new Arab-based investments, and to enjoy unhindered access to the markets of the Arab world.

Jordan-Singapore Free Trade Agreement
In May 16th 2004, Jordan and Singapore signed an Agreement Establishing a Free Trade Area. The Agreement aims at strengthening the economic ties between the two countries, expanding trade in goods and services, developing the investment climate and promoting business alliances between their private enterprises with a view to exploring business opportunities and new export markets in third countries through accumulation of origin, while benefiting from Singapore's expertise in economic and technological development.

Pursuant to the Agreement, products originating from Jordan would be exempted from customs duties immediately after the entry into force of the Agreement. As for products originating from Singapore, they would be subject to gradual reduction of customs duties, within set timeframes. The Agreement provides as well clear mechanisms pertaining safeguard, anti-dumping and countervailing measures.

Jordan – EFTA States Free Trade Agreement
On June 21, 2001, Jordan and the EFTA states (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) signed a free trade agreement which aims to create favorable conditions for the development and diversification of trade and to promote commercial and economic cooperation in areas of common interest on basis of equality, mutual benefit, non-discrimination and international law. The agreement which entered into force on 1/1/2002 provisionally with Switzerland covers economic cooperation and technical assistance in a number of fields ranging from intellectual property and customs matters to technical regulations. The free trade area between Jordan and the EFTA states will be fully operational through progressive liberalization extending over a period of 12 years. The agreement covers trade in industrial, agricultural and fish and marine products. As of the date of entry into force of the agreement, the EFTA states will abolish all customs duties and other charges on imports of industrial products originating in Jordan. Jordan will progressively abolish customs duties on the same products originating in the EFTA states according to 2 schemes extending over 4 to 12 years, while leaving tariffs on a limited number of categories of products to be negotiated after four years of entry into force of the agreement.

 



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