UK Export Finance (UKEF), the UK Government’s export credit agency, announced on Wednesday its first deal in Jordan to support garment company Classic Fashion Apparel Industry in the construction of new factories and a corporate office in Aqaba.

Classic Fashion is the largest apparel manufacturer in the MENA region and contributes to over 42 percent of all garment exports from Jordan.

UKEF said in a statement that the £66 million ($81 million) deal will facilitate the building of four factories including three satellite manufacturing units as well as the Aqaba main facility.

The Agency said it has provided support through a combination of direct lending and a buyer credit guarantee.

The statement said British construction company ASGC UK will project manage and oversee all related elements to ensure quality and timely delivery while more than 30 percent of the services and supplies for the project, such as machinery and other building materials, will come from directly from UK providers.

The project, located in Aqaba Special Economic Zone, will contribute to boosting manufacturing exports and create jobs, in line with the targets for the sector contained in the recently launched Economic Modernisation Vision 2033, the press statement said.

Classic Fashion Apparel Industry Group, with a capacity of 550,000 garments per day, produced 130 million garments in 2021 and expects production to grow to 165 million garments this year.

Company Chairman & Managing Director Sanal Kumar said: “I thank UKEF, British Embassy, and Department for International Trade in Amman and HSBC for coming along and supporting Classic Fashion in its journey of creating another 4,000 jobs for Jordanians with the new set up in Aqaba of GIA Apparels - a fully owned entity of Classic Fashion.”

ASGC UK, Managing Director Paul Woodman added that he hoped the project would lead to further opportunities for the company in Jordan.

(Writing by Anoop Menon; Editing by Bhaskar Raj)