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Jordan: New garment sector alliance seeks to create opportunities for refugees and local workforce

From policy to practice: A new garment sector alliance in Jordan will create opportunities for refugees, April 2017

A new garment sector-wide alliance in Jordan aims to create economic opportunities, improve the lives of refugees caught up in the Syrian crisis and help their host countries. The initiative, led by partners from the international community, was first set in motion at last year’s Supporting Syria and the Region conference in London. Backed by the World Bank Group, the Jordan Garment Sector Alliance has been formed by various partners including the International Labour Organization, Better Work Jordan, the Jordan Investment Commission, the Jordan Industrial Estates Company, the Jordan Garments, Accessories, and Textiles Exporters’ Association (JGate) and the Jordan Chamber of Industry and Trade… The garment industry is seen as one of the sectors that can absorb both refugees and the local workforce since work is labour-intensive and more than half of its 70,000 workers already come from abroad, mostly hailing from South and South-East Asia. Jordan’s 1.6 billion USD apparel industry accounts for some 20 per cent of the country’s exports, said JGATE chairman Husam Saleh at a recent alliance meeting in Amman, stressing that the industry had registered a six per cent increase in apparel exports year on year… [an] official also suggested repeating the successful model of “satellite factories” for Jordanians—branches of large companies scattered across the country’s rural areas — for Syrians, establishing them next to refugee camps, for example.

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