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Final conference for EU-funded CRE@CTIVE project held in Amman

By Mays Ibrahim Mustafa - Sep 20,2023 - Last updated at Sep 20,2023

President of the National Centre for Human Resources Development Abdullah Ababneh speaks during the inauguration of the final conference for the EU-funded CRE@CTIVE project in Amman on Tuesday (Photo courtesy of HCST)

AMMAN – The Higher Council for Science and Technology (HCST) on Tuesday held the final conference for the EU-funded CRE@CTIVE project in Amman. 

The project is framed within the ENI CBC Med Programme, the largest Cross-Border Cooperation (CBC) initiative implemented by the EU under the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI). 

It provides support for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the textile, footwear and leather sector within the Mediterranean region in order to increase their competitiveness in global markets through implementing innovative and creative business models. 

The conference highlighted the outcomes of the project and provided participants with the opportunity to showcase their designs, network and share their experiences with attendees, including stakeholders and policy makers.

Abdullah Ababneh is the President of the National Centre for Human Resources Development (NCHRD), an affiliate of the Higher Council for Science and Technology (HCST). 

Inaugurating the conference, he highlighted the importance of the Kingdom’s “flourishing” artistic and cultural sector in fostering economic growth and sustainable development. 

“This sector, now recognised as a catalyst for development and a national priority, promises to shape Jordan's growth trajectory, positioning it as a hub of innovation and creativity,” he said. 

Ababneh also noted that the CRE@CTIVE  project is evidence of the region’s shared vision which aims to foster a culture that nurtures creativity and “catalyses” socio-economic development.

“At present, we are at the crossover of a transformative era, an era where creativity meets tradition, innovation links with heritage, and youth stand as an inspiration for change and progress,” he added. 

Deputy Head of Cooperation at the Delegation of the European Union to Jordan, Thibaut Moyer, said that the CRE@CTIVE project illustrates the EU’s longstanding commitment to support the private sector across the “South neighbourhood”, including MSMEs, which are “crucial” drivers of economic growth and job creation. 

He added that the project resulted in the launch of six labs that support innovation and product development in the textile, footwear and leather sector. It also awarded 16 grants to innovative ideas and businesses.

 The Coordinator of the Eastern Mediterranean Branch Office of the ENI CBC MED Programme, Esmat Al Karadsheh, said that the CBC MED Programme funds 80 projects, of which 56 include Jordanian entities, with a total budget equal to about 23 million euros. 

He also noted that the NEXT MED programme, which succeeds the CBC MED, will be launched next month with a total budget of 234 million euros. 

Representative of the leather and textile industries sector at the Jordan Chamber of Industry, Ihab Qadri, also spoke during the event. He noted that the volume of production in Jordan’s textile and leather sector reached $2.6 billion in 2022. 

The sector employs over 86,000 workers, of whom 26,000 are Jordanians. It also accounts for 27 per cent of total employment in the industrial sector and has a female employment rate of 68 per cent, he added. 

The sector includes approximately 1,000 facilities with an investment size amounting to $1.1 billion, according to Qadri. 


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