“Nayef Stetieh, CEO of TATWEER, a USAID-funded project, told The Jordan Times on Sunday that the sponsorship of the companies forms part of their mission to continue fostering trade links between Jordanian small- and medium-enterprises SMEs) and the US and other international importers .”We believe that the garment industry in Jordan is one of the key industries that contribute to the development of our national economy and therefore we sponsored these companies to help them expose their products and form commercial relationships with American buyers,” said Stetieh . “He also said that TATWEER will help JGATE become a more sustainable entity as “it is a Jordanian organisation that aims to enhance Jordanian garment exporters to the US market.” . “The Magic Apparel Exhibition is the garment industry’s largest exhibition, taking place twice a year and bringing together more than 1,400 exhibitors and over 100,000 retailers, buyers, and sourcing managers from the US market .JGATE CEO Raghad Hadid told The Jordan Times that participation in the exhibition was necessary to continue promoting Jordanian products and the benefits of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to potential American buyers .”More than 300 serious potential buyers visited the Jordanian companies’ booths,” said Hadid .”We did not only promote the products of the companies that were present in the exhibition, we also distributed a brochure that contained a list of the products and the contact lists of our 66 members, and the Jordanian garments industry as a whole.” . “She added that one of the exhibiting companies was successful in signing an immediate deal with American importers as they had presented “sophisticated products for very competitive prices.” . “Over the past seven years Jordan has witnessed a boom in exports of textiles and garments to the US, which has become Jordan’s second largest trading partner after Saudi Arabia .As a result of the Qualifying Industrial Zones (QIZ) deal and the Jordan-US FTA, signed in December 2001, the country’s exports to America have soared from a meagre $13 million in 1999 to $1.3 billion in 2005 .Clothing and garments remain the major export items, constituting 92.3 per cent of all goods. Total exports to the US in this sector totalled JD463.8 million in the first seven months of this year .In the region, the US has signed free trade agreements with Bahrain, Israel, Oman and Morocco, and is currently holding talks with Egypt .Currently, more than 18,000 Jordanians and 35,000 foreigners are employed in the country’s textile and garments industry .Source: The Jordan Times .