“AJEX 2003 comes at a very important time when trade between Jordan and the U.S. has reached a record high. Jordanian and U.S. companies have the opportunity to capitalize on this success, and use Jordan’s favorable position to open new markets and attract investment” said Azzam Shweihat, Chairman of JABA, the American Chamber of Commerce in Jordan the organizer of AJEX.
“The Free Trade Agreement, now in its second year, is expected to have the same dramatic effects as the Qualifying Industrial Zones in the long term. AJEX will enforce the fact that preferential trade agreements and a favorable business climate in Jordan provide an advantageous position for traders and manufacturers who want to capitalize on Jordan as a base to open new markets in the U.S., the E.C., and the region”.
AJEX also aims to help Jordanian and international companies understand how best to access the American market, based on advice from expert speakers from the American Importers Association, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, several private consulting and marketing firms, as well as members of the Tijara coalition, a group of 24 Jordanian associations (including JABA) and government agencies that aim to promote and implement the Free Trade Agreement.
The conference will also focus on the opportunities and challenges presented by the $US 20 billion reconstruction of Iraq, and the important role that Jordan plays in this process.
At a recent briefing at JABA on Jordan-U.S. trade with Iraq, the Australian Ambassador, John Tilemann expressed that JABA and the U.S. Embassy “provide real value-added advice to its constituents. This is the most realistic information that we have access to”, he said.
This differentiates AJEX from other conferences in its focus on Iraq. “AJEX is going to provide bottom-line guidance and relevant information about how to operate in Jordan and Iraq”, stated John DeBlasio, who works at the Iraqi Assistance Center at the U.S. Embassy and is one of the speakers at AJEX.
Top speakers from the CPA, the Iraqi American Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IACCI) and the local business community will shed light on opportunities in Iraq and the status of the Iraqi economy and infrastructure.
Other sessions will provide useful information about investment opportunities in Jordan, the trade relationship between the two countries, and special topics such as “Business Process Outsourcing” and “Financing your Business”.
His Excellency Dr. M. Halaiqa, Deputy Prime Minister will speak about the Jordan-US Free Trade Agreement as well as other regional and international partnerships that make Jordan and attractive location for business and investment. H.E. Mr. Akel Biltaji, Chief Commissioner of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone, ASEZA, H.E. Mr. Karim Kawar, Jordan’s Ambassador to the U.S., and H.E. Ms. Badran, General Director of the Jordan Investment Board are among scheduled to speak at AJEX 2003.
Among the important American speakers is Ms. Molly Williamson, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Africa, Middle East and South Asia, International Trade Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce, as well as representatives from the Arab American Chamber of Commerce, the Arab American Institute and other government and private American organizations.
“Two days away from AJEX 2003, and the registration and participation is strong. The list of participants will be in the hundreds, and we expect more than 1,000 delegates to visit the exhibition that will be open to the professional community.
Regional and international participation is also very high. More than eighty foreign delegates are participating from the USA, the Middle East, Asia and Europe, as well as local exhibitors representing the food, engineering, water treatment, machinery, clothing, automotive and other sectors”, said Rose Alissi, Chief Executive Officer at JABA
In addition, a delegation of more than thirty business-people and an Iraqi exhibition is being organized by the Iraqi American Chamber of Commerce, the IACC. With over forty exhibitors, the exhibition is also attracting international companies from the U.S., Iraq, Turkey, Pakistan and Yugoslavia.
“We expect AJEX 2003 to have significant benefit to the Jordanian and U.S. business community through the exchange of dialogue and ideas, the development of recommendations and initiatives, and the promotion of Jordan, that will result in increased trade and investment”, said Shweihat.
AJEX is an annual event organized by JABA, the American Chamber of Commerce to promote trade and investment between the U.S. and Jordan. AJEX 2003 is organized by JABA with support from USAID, and the USAID-funded AMIR program, as well as various private sector sponsors.
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