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CBI joins in signing Memorandum of Understanding

On 21 March, the Jordanian Ministry of Agriculture, the Jordanian Exporters and Producers Association for Fruits and Vegetables (JEPA) and CBI signed a Memorandum of Understanding in The Hague. It serves as the framework for collaboration to further develop and increase Jordanian exports of fresh fruits and vegetables to the European, Gulf, Russian and East Asian markets.

The MoU was co-signed by the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade & Development Cooperation, Ms. Sigrid Kaag; the Jordanian Minister for Industry, Trade and Supply, Mr. Yarub Al Qudah; the head of JEPA, Mr. Abdallah al-Zaben; and the Managing Director of CBI Mr. Hans Obdeijn in respect of CBI’s upcoming project for Fresh Fruits & Vegetables (FFV) from Jordan.

The FFV sector is a top priority for The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Jordan. The embassy has earmarked the agricultural sector, specifically the FFV sector as priority sector in which it wishes to take the lead in developing the industry. Through different initiatives the Netherlands is currently supporting the development of the industry, of which CBI is one. With this CBI project The Netherlands aims to show their commitment to continue supporting the development of the industry.

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The Fresh Fruit and Vegetables sector in Jordan

Jordan is producing large volumes of fresh fruits and vegetables and the sector offers considerable potential for further growth and development. Due to the distinctive and diverse geographical climatic zones, vegetables can be produced throughout the year, which is a key competitive advantage. Particularly, there are two distinct agricultural production areas that benefit from their specific climate: the Jordan Valley and the Highlands - as a result providing significant opportunities. On the other hand, over the past years the industry has been hit the hardest by the regional conflicts. Because of the Syrian crisis, access to Jordan’s traditional markets (Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Eastern Europe and Russia) has been cut off. This is why Jordan businesses are now exploring alternative international markets.

By improving the Jordan FFV sector, making it more inclusive and linking it with the international market, CBI aims to contribute towards stabilising the country and better equip Jordan to deal with issues such as migration and increase the employment rate in the country. The FFV industry is one of the industries that got hit the hardest by the regional conflicts and equally one of the industries with the highest value addition to the local industry. Revitalising and upgrading the FFV industry could significantly contribute towards the resilience of the Jordan economy.

The trajectory

Six of the eleven companies that are currently visiting the Netherlands on a trade mission are already participating in the CBI intervention that started in 2017. In addition to these companies, CBI aims to assist a total of 25-30 farmers and exporters in the upcoming 4-5 year CBI project. The project will be executed by CBI in cooperation with the Jordan Exporters and Producers Association for Fruits and Vegetables (JEPA), and the Jordanian Ministry of  Agriculture. Furthermore, with the creation of a sector platform the entire sector will be better equipped to work together and achieve exports on the different international markets.

Trade is a useful instrument to stimulate growth and promote employment. By helping small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Jordan to enter new and more advanced markets, CBI promotes the integration of the Jordan FFV sector in these global value chains. In this way we assist the sector (entrepreneurs and employees) to benefit from the advantages that trade brings, and possibly some relief from the trade deficits incurred due to surrounding conflicts.  

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