‘National industry has big domestic potential as global supply chains reel from pandemic’

Jordan Chamber of Industry President Fathi Jaghbir said Saturday that Covid-19 took a heavy toll on global supply chains that sent raw materials’ prices spiking and shipping fares soaring more than five fold, which impacted the prices of imported goods.

He said in an interview with Petra that the national industry has a huge potential and opportunities in the local market that should be utilized, even partially, to mitigate the impact of global crises on the local economy.

To address the Covid’s repercussions, Jaghbir suggested raising the Jordanian industry’s share in the local market and diversifying and expanding the production base.

“We can categorize the Jordanian industry’s opportunities and their ability to meet local market needs as a substitute for imported goods in two major areas; firstly: replacing imported goods with similar locally-produced items, and secondly: creating and supporting raw material industries,” said Jaghbir.

Today, Jordanian industrial exports account for 90 per cent of the total national exports as products reached more than 140 markets across the world, with more than 1,392 various commodities manufactured by 22,000 industrial facilities spread throughout the Kingdom, he said.

Jaghbir pointed out that the annual local market volume of goods is estimated at 27 billion dinars, with national industries accounting for only 45 per cent of the total, noting that about 5 billion dinars of imported goods have similar locally-made products.

“This means that there is a huge lost opportunity for the Jordanian industry in the local market, and that in the event of moving towards local production and stimulating linkages between the economic sectors and protecting local products from the importer, a large part of the country’s needs of the various commodities and products can be met,” he explained.

He mentioned such industries that can largely meet domestic market needs and replace imports as food, pharmaceutical, fertilizer, chemical, packaging, clothing, footwear and plastic industries, in addition to the wood and furniture industries.

Jaghbir noted that the Jordanian industry during the pandemic showed an enormous potential to meet the Kingdom’s needs and dispense with part of the imports, pointing out that the local market did not see any interruptions or shortages in the basic food and health goods it needed, unlike what happened in other key industrial countries.

Jaghbir, who also heads the Amman Chamber of Industry, noted that the industrial sector self-developed during the coronavirus pandemic, producing masks, surgical gowns and other medical equipment that largely met local market needs, and the surplus was exported.

Source: Jordan News Agency