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JGATE holds ‘Meet the Government’ roundtable discussion

Jordan: Tuesday, December 14 - 2004 @ 14:54

The meeting provided the opportunity for an open dialogue between public and private sectors to tackle issues and concerns pertinent to the garment industry. Attendees also had the opportunity to meet with the Minister of Labor, H.E. Amjad Majali, and discuss key labor-related issues affecting the sector.

The meeting was attended by 52 individuals, 10 of whom are JGATE active members as well as all five Board members representing CJC, Prime-Five, Sabco5, Trico Tawileh and Jordan Textiles Sourcing. Participants included representatives from Jordan Dragon, EAM Maliban, El Zay Ready Wear, Rainbow Textiles, Jordache, Jerash Garments, Century Miracle, Needle Craft, CCKM and Tajamouat Industrial Zone. Government representatives present were H.E. Amjad Majali, H.E. Ahmad Hindawi (Minister of Industry), and Mr. Majed Habashneh (Secretary General of the Ministry of Labor). Attendees also included Mr. Taleb Al-Rifai, the General Director of the International Labor Organization, and representatives from the Royal Court, JUMP!, Jordan Vision 2020 and the AMIR Program.

During the meeting, Mr. Samir Maqdah, JGATE’s Chairman, delivered a statement outlining the key issues currently facing the sector including Aqaba port delays, the need for sales tax exemptions and the need for revised labor laws. Speaking to members at the event JGATE’s CEO, Mr. Rashed Darwazeh said that this discussion would be an opportunity to voice concerns, but there would not be any immediate solutions.

Following the statements, all participants were invited to present their questions and comments to government representatives. Scarcity of trained labor was one of the key issues raised by participants Mr. Athula (EAM Maliban General Manager) and Mr. Fakhoury (El Zay). The Minister of Labor acknowledged the problem, which is why they allow for the importation of labor, adding that the Jordanian government is committed to resolving this issue. Demonstrating his commitment to the sector, the H.E. Mr. Majali announced during the meeting that the fees for work permits had been reduced to 175JD for garment manufacturers, but that he would reduce the fees even further if factories employ more Jordanian workers. He also indicated that factories need to do their part in providing a comfortable work environment for workers and paying wages on time. Amendments on current labor laws were also requested, particularly with regards to vacation time, as current regulations encourage absenteeism among workers. Responding to labor concerns, the H.E. Mr. Majali cited such behavior by workers may be encouraged by low wages and undesirable working conditions, adding that the government will work in cooperation with the social sector to amend labor laws to meet employees’ and employers’ needs.

Jordanian Garments, Accessories & Textiles Exporters’ Association (JGATE) was launched by the Jordan-United States Business Partnership (JUSBP) in an attempt to increase the garment sector competitiveness and expand export capacity. JGATE provides members with necessary resources to build export networks, attract investments, improve management know-how and improve supply chain collaboration. Meet the Government is one of many activities employed by JGATE to encourage and facilitate the development of the garments industry.

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Tuesday, December 14- 2004 @ 14:54 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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