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Small, medium businesses offer perspective on high export shipping costs

By JT - Nov 08,2022 - Last updated at Nov 08,2022

The USAID Business Growth Activity, in collaboration with the Jordan Enterprise Development Corporation (JEDCO), hold a public-private dialogue on the impact of increased shipping costs on small-and medium-sized enterprise (SME) exporters in Jordan (Photo courtesy of USAID)

AMMAN — The USAID Business Growth Activity, in collaboration with the Jordan Enterprise Development Corporation (JEDCO), held a public-private dialogue on the impact of increased shipping costs on small-and medium-sized enterprise (SME) exporters in Jordan.

As part of the USAID Business Growth Activity’s commitment to raise awareness of challenges facing exporting SMEs in Jordan, key stakeholders representing SMEs, business associations, shipping and clearance companies, and JEDCO, came together to discuss and develop recommendations that would address the concerns of SMEs and Start-ups, according to an USAID statement.

From the project’s engagement with SMEs, the increase in shipping cost was identified as a major impediment for exporters in Jordan following the COVID-19 pandemic. A sudden rise in shipping prices adversely affected the profitability of exporting SMEs. 

“The sharp rise in shipping cost came unexpectedly and badly affected most of our exporting activities and our efforts to timely export our goods to honour our commitments,” said Neveen Al Shawabkeh, Al Mueen for Marketing & Distribution. 

Through facilitated dialogue, the SMEs presented the effects of these challenges on their business growth and ability to enter new markets. 

“USAID Business Growth Activity, as the growth facilitator, captured the concerns of SMEs and Start-ups to narrow the gaps between public and private entities to reach reasonable and effective solutions for exporting companies in Jordan,” said Wafaa M. Aranki, chief of party, USAID Business Growth Activity.

This roundtable increased awareness of the available assistance and financial support that USAID Business Growth Activity provides to SMEs to help them overcome the adverse effects of the increase in shipping cost. 

“As the national umbrella for the development of SMEs and Start-ups in Jordan, JEDCO provides support in targeting new international markets and increasing exports” said Abdel Fatah Kayed, chief executive officer, JEDCO.

The USAID Business Growth Activity supports Jordan’s SMEs, including Start-ups, to improve their productivity and competitiveness, create employment, foster innovation, promote economic growth and advance Jordan towards a more prosperous, resilient and inclusive future. 

USAID Business Growth Activity will support SMEs with firm-level technical assistance and access to finance provided through tailored mechanisms. The project systematically incorporates women, youth, and persons with disabilities in all the project interventions, and identifies issues and challenges facing SMEs.

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