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AmCham 2016 Year in Review
13 December 2016

Under the patronage of the Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply HE Yarub Qudah, and with the attendance of U.S. Ambassador to Jordan Alice G. Wells, the American Chamber of Commerce in Jordan (AmCham) held their annual year end “Year in Review” dinner on Wednesday December 7, 2016.

The event, which was hosted by AmCham to close the year 2016 and celebrate the Chambers achievements over the period, was held at the Kempinski Amman Hotel, and was attended by a number of Ministers, US embassy delegates, and representatives from the public and private sector. Also in attendance were visiting representatives from the US Department of State, Mr. Ziad Haider, US Department of State Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs, and Mr. Richard Albright Deputy Assistant Secretary and Coordinator for Foreign Assistance, who are heading a delegation of visiting US companies.

Speaking at the event, HE Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply, Eng. Yarub Qudah noted the ongoing cooperation between the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply and the American Chamber of Commerce in Jordan, which has been instrumental in increasing trade between Jordan and the US. His Excellency went on to note the challenge of higher unemployment rates facing the Kingdom and the need to further utilize the Jordan US Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to enhance investments and employment opportunities with a focus on diversifying Jordanian exports through added support to a number of non-traditional industries. This, he added, can only be achieved through further cooperation between the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply, AmCham Jordan, and the TIJARA coalition of key Jordanian business associations and government agencies dedicated to promoting bilateral trade and the FTA.


In her remarks US Ambassador Wells commended the role that the Chamber has played over the past 17 years in promoting two way trade between the US and Jordan, noting “We are proud of this achievement and hope more Jordanian firms witness such growth in their U.S. exports. That's what the FTA Unit will seek to do: diversify trade into a wider number of sectors and products.”


AmCham Jordan Chairman, Mr. Mohammad Bataineh spoke about the historic outstanding relationship between Jordan and the USA, which he stated “has never been better than it is today and not just economically but in most aspects.” Mr. Bataineh went on to laud the support provided by both the Jordanian and US governments, noting “I must recognize the cooperation and support we get, as a chamber, from the government of Jordan and the US government represented by the US Embassy in Amman under the leadership of Ambassador Wells and her team. We look forward to continue working with all relevant entities and organizations from the public and private sectors of Jordan and the United States to help us carry on achieving our mission of promoting more US – Jordan Business.”

 

The event also hosted the signing of a grants agreement awarded by the USAID Jordan Competitiveness Program (JCP) to AmCham Jordan for US$600,000.00 over a period of 18 months.  The Agreement falls under the scope of JCP, which works with policymakers, business associations, and the private sector to stimulate exports and attract foreign direct investment which will ultimately result in increased employment opportunities across the Kingdom. Commenting on the Grant Agreement, Ambassador Wells added “Our shared goal is a ‎robust bilateral trade relationship that benefits more and more companies and citizens. This grant recognizes the unique and important role of AmCham in Jordan in this effort.‎" 

 

Since its founding in 1999, The American Chamber of Commerce in Jordan (AmCham-Jordan), has continuously joined forces with key public and private entities, playing a vital role in strengthening and promoting bilateral trade and investment between the US and Jordan, an effort which has culminated in over $2.86 Billion worth of goods traded between the two countries in 2015.


Commenting on the Program’s support to the Chamber, JCP’s Chief of Party Dr. Wissam Rabadi, said the Grant, which came into effect in November of this year “aims at further bolstering the important work of AmCham, a vital link between the Jordanian and U.S. business communities.” 

Over the past year, AmCham Jordan adopted several initiatives and designed programs to assist the local business community and facilitate its development, including the conclusion of an extensive collaborative effort between the Chamber, the US Embassy, and the Jordan Anti-Corruption Commission (JACC) which resulted in the publication of the region’s first Private Sector Code of Conduct. AmCham-Jordan also launched the “Exports Diversification Program” under the Jordan US Free Trade Agreement (FTA), adding to its mandate two new FTA and Business Development units which are aimed at contributing to an even greater understanding and utilization of the Jordan-US FTA by companies from both sides.

 

In this regard, AmCham CEO, Ms. Rose Alissi added “We at AmCham have had a very successful year. Despite on-going developments throughout the MENA region which directly impact the Kingdom’s social, economic, and political landscapes, AmCham Jordan, with the support of the Jordanian and US Governments and our members and partners, continued to make important strides in supporting bilateral trade and investment between Jordan and the US.” Commenting on the Chambers activities, Ms. Alissi noted “Through our various programs and was established, we have witnessed the volume of Jordan-US trade grow from a mere $350M to over $3B of a balanced trade between the two countries. The FTA, which AmCham Jordan played a major role in creating on behalf of the private sector, is the game changer and the anchor resulting in the exponential rise in business between the US and Jordan.”member related activities, we have worked diligently towards enhancing and sustaining Jordan’s competitive edge in the world economy, including working directly with our Members to enhance their efficiency and competitiveness, in addition to their knowledge of US market entry requirements. We are proud to say that over the past 17 years since Amcham