Ammon News, Business

Jordanian trucks allowed entry to Iraq

[2/13/2018 1:58:24 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Minister of Municipalities Walid Al-Masri and Minister of Industry and Trade Yarub Al-Qudah on Tuesday met with representatives of the chambers of industry and commerce and members of the Jordan Truck Owners and Custom Clearance Associations to discuss arrangements for the entry of Jordanian trucks to Iraq. They agreed to organise the crossing of Jordanian trucks to Iraq and arrange it with the concerned Jordanian and Iraqi authorities, as well as discussing a cabinet decision on the minimum wage for the trucking sector. The transport minister stressed on the need for the Transport Regulatory Commission (TRC) to issue a bulletin of transport fares between Amman and the Kingdom's various governorates. TRC Director General, Salah Laozi, said the entry of Jordanian trucks to Iraq was the culmination of relentless government efforts and is the first step to revive transport as a lifeline of all other sectors.

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ASE starts trading on higher note

[2/11/2018 6:59:23 AM]

AMMONNEWS - The Amman Stock Exchange (ASE) opened trading on Sunday with a rise to 2209 points compared to 2184 points of last session's closure, according to market sources. The market index fluctuated between 2204 points and 2210 points in the first 15 minutes of today's session with a trading volume of JD1.8 million.

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Jordanian-European business forum held in Germany

[2/10/2018 1:00:51 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Jordan and the European Union held a joint business forum in Germany as part of a signed agreement to simplify rules of origin for Jordanian exports to the EU nations, which entered into force in July 2016. The two-day Jordanian-European forum in Frankfurt was organised by Jordan Chamber of Industry (JCI) in cooperation with the Investment Commission, the German-Arab Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the Federation of German Chambers of Industry and Trade. Representatives of Jordanian plastic, engineering, textiles, packaging, chemicals, cosmetics, metals and food industry firms met European importers as they sought to promote their products and find a place for themselves in European markets. Jordanian businessmen also had the opportunity to meet their peers from 96 companies from Germany, Greece, Croatia, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxemburg, Ukraine and Poland, in which members of the Jordanian community in Frankfurt took part. Jordanian companies also held meetings with several businessmen from Arab countries working in the German market and in neighboring European countries as well as with European companies to identify potential buyers in Germany and beyond in the bloc, who were agreed to in the agreement to relax the rules of origin. In opening remarks, Jordan Chamber of Industry president Adnan Abul Ragheb said the Jordanian industrial sector is a key pillar of the national economy as it includes a variety of multiple products that meet international standards, accounts for 25 percent of GDP and 90 percent of the total national exports and is also the biggest employer in the Kingdom.

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Arab Bank terrorism case ends as US court voids jury verdict

[2/10/2018 6:00:16 AM]

AMMONNEWS - A US appeals court has thrown out a 2014 jury verdict finding Arab Bank Plc liable for knowingly supporting attacks in Israel, a decision that triggers a settlement agreement with hundreds of plaintiffs. Friday’s decision by the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals ends 13-1/2 years of litigation over Arab Bank’s liability, which the Jordanian lender has disputed, for 24 attacks in and around Israel in the early 2000s. The appeals court said jurors in Brooklyn were instructed incorrectly by the trial judge that under federal law, Arab Bank committed an “act of international terrorism” by knowingly providing material support to Hamas, which the Department of State designated in 1997 as a foreign terrorist organisation. In August 2015, 11 months after the verdict, Arab Bank had reached a confidential settlement with 597 victims or relatives of victims of 22 of the attacks, pending the bank’s appeal of the verdict, court papers show. Both sides agreed to forgo a retrial if the verdict were thrown out. “The plaintiffs will receive meaningful and very substantial compensation for their injuries,” their lawyer, Gary Osen, said in an email. “Today’s decision doesn’t diminish the fact a jury found Arab Bank liable for knowingly supporting Hamas.” In a statement, Arab Bank said “the district court’s errors at trial all but dictated an adverse outcome. The bank is pleased to put this case behind it.” Arab Bank’s settlement averted a trial to determine damages for 16 “bellwether” plaintiffs, concerning three of the attacks. Had the verdict been affirmed, they would have been entitled to at least $100 million, Friday’s decision said. The verdict had been the first in the United States holding a bank civilly liable for violating the Anti-Terrorism Act (“ATA”), which lets US citizens seek damages from international terrorism. In Friday’s decision, Circuit Judge Reena Raggi said a jury properly instructed on the law might have inferred that Arab Bank had been sufficiently “aware” of Hamas’ activities. But she said “we cannot conclude that such evidence, as a matter of law,” shows that the bank knew it was “playing a role in violent or life‐endangering acts whose apparent intent was to intimidate or coerce civilians or to affect a government.” The trial judge, Brian Cogan, dismissed claims concerning two of the 24 attacks in 2015. Congress’ passage in 2016 of the Justice Against Terrorism Act extended ATA liability to those who aid and abet acts of international terrorism. *MEM

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Fakhoury urges international community to support Jordan Response Plan to Syrian crisis

[2/7/2018 3:23:48 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Planning and International Cooperation Minister, Imad Fakhoury, on Wednesday, urged the international community to support the Jordan Response Plan to the Syrian crisis 2018-2020, and securing sufficient grants and concessional financing to deal with the requirements of the general budget over the next three year. The minister gave his remarks during a meeting with Norway's Ambassador to Jordan, Tone Allers, and ambassadors of donor countries, representatives of international organizations and international commissions that are working in Jordan, within a joint international mission that seeks assessing mechanisms of financial support to underprivileged Jordanians and Syrian refugees, a Planning Ministry statement said. Fakhoury highlighted the importance of the international support that was provided to Jordan, describing it as essential for the Kingdom to continue providing humanitarian and development aid to the Syrian refugees and their host communities. He described the financial support as the most effective means for the refugee to cover the expenses of his main needs such as housing, healthcare, and education, which would mitigate the burden on Jordan and maximize the benefit of the Jordanian economy. During the meeting, Fakhoury urged donors to provide the necessary funding continuously and regularly for the target groups, stressing the need for periodic review of the eligibility criteria of this support and targeting all underprivileged groups without discrimination, and continued coordination with the relevant bodies, in addition to developing the necessary databases to be adopted as a unified source of distribution of support to ensure effective delivering it to eligible groups more. The planning minister outlined the current economic challenges facing the Kingdom due to the regional situation, including the burdens of hosting large numbers of Syrian refugees, noting the Jordanian approach in dealing with these challenges. He pointed out that Jordan was proactive in devising funding mechanisms that contribute to providing humanitarian support to refugees, and introducing iris scan system for refugees' registration with focusing on information technology in providing assistance. The mission comprises representatives of Germany, Australia, Canada, Norway, Switzerland, the UK, the US, and the EU.

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Iraqi Customs Collect Fees on Jordanian Products

[2/7/2018 9:14:25 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Director General Amman’s Chamber of Industry Nael al-Husami said that despite the decision by the Iraqi authorities to exempt Jordanian products from customs fees since the end of 2016, "Iraqi authorities are still collecting fees on Jordanian products.” Jordanian Trade and Finance Minister Ya'areb al-Qudah announced on Tuesday that the Iraqi authorities have approved to exempt a new list of 170 Jordanian products from customs fees, which were imposed by 30% by the end of 2016, explaining that over 541 Jordanian products have been exempted from fees so far out of a list of 750 products that Jordan had handed over to Iraq. Husami called on the Jordanian government to address the concerned authorities on the Iraqi side to expedite the application of customs exemptions imposed by the Iraqi government on all its imports, especially after opening the border crossing between the two countries late 2016. The Jordanian government hopes the opening of the border crossing contributes to re-exporting Jordanian goods to the Iraqi market as before as it has seen a significant decline in recent years. Husami also called for cooperation between the Jordanian and Iraqi sides to facilitate the flow of Jordanian exports into the Iraqi market so that Jordanian industrial companies can maintain their production capacity, especially in light of the repercussions of the Syrian crisis. He said that this could happen through allowing Jordanian trucks to enter Iraqi territories to load the goods or deliver Jordanian products to their importers there, especially that Jordanian goods are still very popular in the Iraqi market. This was reflected in the great demand witnessed by the Jordanian wing at the Baghdad International Fair, which was held last November. The chamber is studying the idea of organizing a Jordanian industrial exhibition in Baghdad this year titled, “Made in Jordan,” to consolidate the presence of Jordanian industries in the Iraqi market, Hussami added. He further noted that the volume of Jordanian exports in January amounted to about 70 million dollars and that the chamber's goal is to export goods worth 200 million dollars in the coming period. *Asharq Al-Awsat

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Al-Ghazzawi : The government allocates 26 million JOD this year

[2/6/2018 7:03:05 AM]

AMMONNEWS - The Minister of Labour, Ali Zahir al-Ghazzawi, has stated that the Ministry of Labour has completed the quarterly assessment of the National Empowerment and Employment Programme (NEEP), which was launched by the Government in early September of last year. This programme aims to empower and employ Jordanians in the following key sectors: manufacturing, tourism, agriculture, construction, services (day cares) and energy (gas stations). It provides subsidies to the private sector for job creation and for an increase of the Jordanians’ share in the workforce of the participating companies. Al-Ghazzawi further stated that the indicators are extremely positive, and that the work plan to implement the programme is heading in the right direction, indicating that the Government of Jordan has allocated close to 100 million JOD, for the next five years, to implement the programme. Al-Ghazzawi pointed out that through the programme, the share of migrant workers in the targeted sectors will be reduced by 10-25% for each year for the next 5 years. The programme was designed mainlybased on the principle of empowering jobseekers throughon-the-job training through a close partnership with the private sector. Al-Ghazzawi said that 20 agreements and memorandums of understandingwith sectors ‘organizationsfor the implementation of this Programme. While the previous parties will manage the programme, the Ministry of Labour, via ETVET,will finance the programme according to the signed agreement and MOUsfor the next five years. Al-Ghazzawihas further indicated that the programme has focused on the mechanization of some professions in the sectors with high percentages ofmigrant labour - such as the construction sector, and in the agriculturesector - in order to improve the job contents and attract more Jordanians. The programmeimplementation will rely on a Programme Support Unit (PSU) established in collaboration with the International Labour Organization (ILO) to follow up on the implementation of the Programme, and to reflect on the knowledge generated through the implementation process. The NEEP will also be supported by an Advisory Committee composed of relevant international partners and technical experts that will provide inputs for its implementation. Al-Ghazzawistressed that “job creation for Jordanians is a key policy priority for the stability of the country, and no effort should be spared. This objective can only be reached with the full commitment of the private sector to take an active part in the partnership offered by the Ministry”. He also said “Decent work is at the core of job creation in Jordan, and we will ensure it remains a reality for Jordanians, Syrians and Migrants”. For his part, Director of TVETFund Haytham Al-Khasawneh said that 26 million JOD were allocated this year to finance the NEEP activities.Al-Khasawnehfurther stated that the government will allocate more funds to the TVET Fund to establish productive branches in various governorates, especially in remote areas, in order to provide employment opportunities for unemployed Jordanian workers, especially for women in remote and impoverished areas.

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