(MENAFN - Jordan Times) The Jordan Chamber of Industry (JCI) on Tuesday inaugurated a technical support unit for small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in a bid to upgrade the satisfaction level of customers who own businesses.
The division, established in cooperation with the International Labour Organisation, will also provide guidance and establish financing programmes and institutions, in addition to conducting studies and improve the competence of workers.
During the inauguration ceremony, Industry and Trade Minister Sami Gammoh underlined the importance of the unit in contributing to the development of the Kingdom's industrial sector, which he described as a priority to the government.
"The government seeks to increase trade exchange and open new markets for Jordanian exports through sealing agreements with Arab and foreign states in order to enable exporters penetrate different markets without customs restriction," the minister said.
He added that the government is also striving to support local production through enhancing Jordanian consumers' confidence and pride towards national industries as well as giving priority to purchasing national products in government's tenders, even if they priced more than their imported counterparts.
Gammoh indicated that the industrial sector has achieved an added value of JD1,938 million last year, while the industrial exports accounted to around 88 per cent of the total national exports, which reached JD4.8 billion.
He mentioned inability to access funding resources and foreign markets as challenges facing SMEs in Jordan.
The minister said that grants presented by the Jordan Enterprise Development Corporation to fund technical support activities for the industrial sector stood at 3.2 million euros last year, benefiting 63 companies.
JCI Chairman Hatem Halawani credited the global financial crisis for accentuating the importance of SMEs and their ability to adopt to challenges.
"SMEs have maintained their stability during the global downturn, unlike large businesses, which were severely hit by the crisis," he said, noting that most businesses in Jordan are classified as small or medium.