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STAR A jab for pharmaceutical exports * The Jordan Pharmaceuticals Association (JPA) is planning a training project to enhance exports of medicines to the US, according to JPA's President, Hanan Sboul. Manufacturers with the potential and capability of reaching US requirements are participating such as Dar El Dawa, Al Hikma, United for Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and the Advanced Medical Industries. She noted that an expert from the US-based Food and Drugs Agency is due to arrive in Jordan during September to assess companies in advance. Jordan's pharmaceutical exports reached JD 115.3 million in 2003, a decline of 19.3 percent compared to 2002. Study shows economic ups and downs * A study by the Amman Chamber of Industry indicated that the per capita income declined in Jordan over the past 20 years by 5 percent with unemployment at 25 percent. Meanwhile, economic growth picked up only after 2000, with rates of 4 percent and above along with growing exports. The study warned of the negative effects of Jordan's low exports to Europe, which declined from JD 87 million in 1996 to JD 55 million in 2003, indicating that this trend would adversely affect the local industries on the long run. Luxurious expenditure on the rise * According to the General Statistics Department, people in Jordan--including visitors--spend about JD 180 million annually on alcohol and tobacco. The governorate of Balqa consumed alcohol the most in 2003, while Zarqa burnt cigarettes the most. Expenditure on cosmetics and personal care equipment reached JD 167 million in 2003 with Irbid ranking first at JD 34 million. The bright side of privatization * Government revenues from the privatization program totaled $1.2 billion over the past eight years. A report by the Executive Privatization Commission stated that the program halted public expenditure in inefficient industries and created more than 11,000 new job opportunities. It highlighted the role of the private sector in the economy as local companies are encouraged to participate in the privatization program. The report pointed that Jordan's monetary reserves increased sevenfold since 1996 to $5 billion. On air cargo fees * Local industrialists and exporters urged the government this week to reduce air cargo fees on national exports. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) charges non-Jordanian carriers $10,000 per landing in exchange for airport services. President of the Zarqa Chamber of Industry, Mohammad Tal pointed out that Royal Jordanian, Jordan's national carrier does not provide sufficient flights for air cargo, which calls for the services of foreign carriers. Tal said that a petition was handed to Minister of Trade and Industry, Mohammad Halaiqa, concerning this issue. ABC profits * The Arab Banking Corp (ABC) increased its semi-annual profits by 73 percent to JD 4.5 million, compared to JD 2.6 million in 2003. Ziad Fariz, chairman of the bank, said the financial statement reflects a 19 percent growth rate in the bank's portfolio while operational revenues increased this year by 52 percent to JD 10.2 million.

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Publication:The Star (Amman, Jordan)
Date:Aug 22, 2004
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