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Textile, clothing syndicate president calls for intervention to ‘rescue sector’

2019 sees 35% drop in sales

By JT - Nov 16,2019 - Last updated at Nov 16,2019

AMMAN — Jordan’s Textile and Readymade Clothes Syndicate President Munir Deyyeh on Friday said that sales have declined by 35 per cent in 2019 compared to 2018, which also saw a decline compared to previous years.

The clothing and footwear sector has been affected by the economic challenges faced by the Kingdom, coinciding with challenges particular to the sector that are yet to be resolved, including increased customs fees and employment costs, Deyyeh told the Jordan News Agency, Petra.

Deyyeh said that Jordan’s clothing and footwear imports have been declining for the past ten years, to come in at JD150 million in 2019 compared with JD160 million in 2018 and JD185 million in 2017.

Jordan’s imports of garments and footwear meet the “bare minimum” of the local market’s requirements, due to a decline in sales and losses suffered by merchants. Additionally, commercial activity has dwindled due to citizens’ lowered purchasing power, which was apparent during holidays and back-to-school seasons, added Deyyeh.

The syndicate president called for the reduction of customs fees on garments and footwear, and for intervention to rescue the sector, which employs 52,000 Jordanians, pointing to the hesitation of merchants to continue their investments in the sector. 

Deyyeh highlighted that the syndicate has exerted great efforts to ease the difficulties facing the sector, including exemption from fines levied on customs violations, amending customs laws, regulating electronic sales, and imposing guidelines regarding customs fees for Chinese merchandise.

The president noted the income and sales tax decision to make one comprehensive daily invoice pertaining to the billing system. He also pointed to the measure of exempting employers from retroactively registering in the social security system and compensating Amman merchants for losses caused by floods, according to Petra. 

He added that the syndicate is working on solutions to challenges faced by the sector, most importantly the Landlords and Tenants Law, and lowering customs fees and sales tax.

Deyyeh renewed his call to exempt children’s clothing and footwear from customs fees, considering that they are basic necessities.

He said that imported children’s clothing and footwear are subjected to a 20 per cent customs fee, a 5 per cent service allowance and a 16 per cent sales tax, in addition to the income tax.

Most of the Kingdom’s clothing imports come from Turkey and China, while the readymade clothes and footwear sector comprises 11,800 merchants, Petra reported.  

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