Jordan’s garment industry showed ‘resilience’ during pandemic

COVID-19 has had a major impact on the garment industry throughout the world

  
Traditional clothing is displayed in the downtown area of Amman, Jordan, August 1, 2017.

Traditional clothing is displayed in the downtown area of Amman, Jordan, August 1, 2017.

REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

AMMAN — Jordan’s garment industry has been spared the worst effects of the pandemic, proving to be “relatively” resilient in its adaptability to new market trends, according to Better Work Jordan Annual Report 2021.

The report presents findings and observations from Better Work Jordan’s interactions in the garment sector throughout 2020, providing an update on the state of the Kingdom’s garment sector.

Better Work Jordan (BWJ) is a partnership between the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

“COVID-19 has had a major impact on the garment industry throughout the world, and Jordan is no exception,” the report indicated. However, the economic downturn in Jordan’s garment industry has only had a 15 per cent reduction in garment exports and a full rebound is expected by the end of 2021, thus the sector has fared relatively well in comparison with Jordan’s other sectors, the report said.

“Other garment industries saw major contractions of 30 to 50 per cent,” the report added.

Although the Jordanian garment sector has “showed resilience, COVID-19 has also exposed some weaknesses in the industry”, the report stated.

“Some [garment] factories had severe violations, such as forced labour, inaccurate and late payment of wages, and reductions in the number of meals provided to workers,” the report added.

The report draws from multiple data sources, including assessment findings from unannounced compliance visits to factories, advisory data collected during regular interactions with factories and survey data gathered from workers and managers. The report said it covers an estimated 95 per cent of garment workers in Jordan, synthesising industry updates to help increase transparency.

This year’s report, which is Better Work Jordan’s 12th annual report, also showed that Jordan’s garment exports in 2020 were valued at $1.6 billion and made up 22 per cent of all Jordan’s exports. With 24 per cent of all exports going to the US, the US continues to be a major export market for Jordan.

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