Workshop on the benefits of the Jordan-US FTA

AMMAN — The American Chamber of Commerce in Jordan, in cooperation with the Zarqa Chamber of Industry held a technical training /workshop tackling food and packaging industry under the Program "Diversification of Exports under the Jordan-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA)."

The workshop aimed at raising awareness of sector related opportunities created by the FTA and how the Jordanian private sector can benefit from such opportunities.

The Program, which is patronized by the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Supply and the US Ambassador to Jordan was initiated with a workshop geared specifically towards the Jordanian food industries sector.

The Workshop, which is the first of a number of scheduled events, included presentations by a panel of experts from the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Supply, the Ministry of Agriculture as well as representatives from the Jordan Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Scientific Food Centre and an expert on packaging and labelling.

The workshop was attended by the chairmen of the Amman and Zarqa chambers of industry as well as a number of local manufacturers representing the Food packaging and labelling sector.

Topics discussed during the workshop included the information about the Jordan –US FTA, rules of origin, and SPS requirements within the framework of WTO.

Participants also discussed the USA requirements for packaging and labelling, export from Jordan to North America, factory licensing, export certification, FDA requirements for exporting food products to the US market.

The workshop issued a number of recommendations, including a further work towards meeting international standards related to sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures, mainly with relation to organic produce, whereby meeting these standards will lead to increased investments in this sector and thus increase exports to US and other markets.

A statement by the participants called for enhancing the role of monitoring and regulation for agricultural produce exported to foreign markets to ensure high quality standards and that the reputation of Jordanian agricultural products is not impacted negatively, thus affecting local food and agriculture manufacturers and producers.

The statement also called for assisting local manufacturers of packaging products and materials towards meeting the standards required by the food industry and in particular, those of the US market.

It also stressed on the establishment of a specialized laboratory to test packaging materials and components imported into the local market, to ensure their safety as per existing guidelines on Food Contact Materials and Articles import and distribution.

The workshop also called for further work towards meeting standards that would allow Jordanian producers of meat, poultry and dairy products to export to the US market.


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