The European Union last month agreed to grant Jordanian exports preferential access to the world’s richest trading bloc in a deal designed to ease the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis.
“This agreement will make it easier for Jordan to access the EU market and make better use of the preferential access to the EU market that it already enjoys,” EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said in a statement. “Together with other EU efforts to support Jordan, these measures will help boost investment, export, and employment opportunities in the country, including for Syrian refugees.”
Under the agreement, which Prime Minister Hani al-Mulki described as an “important step,” the EU will simplify the rules of origin that Jordanian exporters use in their trade with the bloc. The decade-long agreement will apply to a wide range of manufactured products and be available to producers in 18 specified industrial areas and development zones which employ a minimum percentage of Syrian refugees—15 percent at the outset, increasing to 25 percent in the third year.
The EU said regular, joint monitoring of the rules of origin scheme will also be regularly carried out so that potential adjustments could be made during a mid-term review. In addition, the EU said once Jordan had reached its own global target of bringing around 200,000 Syrian refugees into the formal labor market, they will look at ways to further simplify the initiative.