Jordan is one of the countries with the highest numbers of free trade agreements in the Arab region and one of the most open economies among the Arab States. In line with the Jordan`s export-oriented economic strategy aiming at boosting national trade, especially in the region, the government of Jordan requested ITC to conduct an NTM survey to identify the key challenges faced by national exporters. The NTM survey in Jordan commenced in April 2015. Following the United National tendering process, ITC selected a local partner (service provider) to help with collecting of the required firm-level data and undertaking phone and face-to face interviews with exporting/importing companies. To ensure a high quality of the survey and compliance with the approved ITC methodology, ITC team provided a one week training and technical guidance on NTMs and the survey methodology to 10 staff members of the local partner (Ipsos Jordan).
In total, 570 registered Jordanian companies were approached for a phone screening. The survey aims at capturing with a high precision the NTMs related to the exports process, in this regard all companies interviewed are active exporters and some of them are engaged in both, exporting and importing operations. Company representatives who were willing to volunteer their time and expressed an interest in a further detailed session of a more in-depth set of questions have gone through a face-to-face interview. Those interviews captured specific details, in confidence, around the way they experience burdensome NTMs. Interviews were carried out according to the standard ITC questionnaire and covered 207 companies.
The NTM survey sought to identify obstacles to trade faced by the business community in Jordan and to liaise with national stakeholders to formulate concrete and realistic proposals and policy options. To this end, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply of Jordan ITC organised a national round table on NTMs in Amman in November 2016. The purpose of the round table was to discuss with a wide group of stakeholders regulatory and procedural trade obstacles as experienced by Jordan exporters and importers; identify solutions to mitigate these obstacles taking into account the public and the private sector perspectives; define concrete priority actions and a roadmap for their implementation. Representatives from relevant governmental bodies and organisations, chambers, trade associations, academia and the private sector participated in the round table and together developed a set of relevant recommendations.
Among the key recommendations were setting up an official body “National Assessment Centre”, whose main objectives will be to oversee, coordinate and unify all requirements and facilitate measures and procedures related to export and import processes. Furthermore, participants pointed out to the need to provide in-depth and detailed technical assistance to Jordan-based companies as well as and a necessity to upgrade the government-run laboratories.
NTM Survey Process – Extensive Local Ownership
|Survey inception and preparation||Interview Period||Data Analysis and Report||Results Validation and Dissemination|
|In collaboration with local authorities||In collaboration with local survey company||In collaboration with local expert||In collaboration with local stakeholders|
|– Survey design adjustment to country specific needs.|
The final report containing the overview of the most hampering NTMs faced by Jordanian companies at home and by entering foreign markets along with a set of policy recommendations to reduce trade-hindering effects of NTMs is currently being finalized and will be submitted to the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply of Jordan for further follow-up actions.