Jordan flag Jordan: Economic and Political Overview

Foreign trade figures of Jordan

Foreign Trade in Figures

Jordan is very open to international trade, so much so that there is a dependence on foreign capital; however, its relative share of GDP has diminished considerably after 2014 and was standing in 2020 at 65.4% (World Bank, 2022). Exports are spearheaded by the textile industry, followed by the chemical and mining sectors (fertiliser, medicine, potash and phosphate). Jordan mainly imports machinery and transport equipment, gas, crude and petroleum products, food, manufactured chemicals and electrical machines.

The United States was by far the main destination for Jordanian exports (25%), followed by Saudi Arabia and India (12% respectively), Iraq and the United Arab Emirates. China (16%) and Saudi Arabia (13%) were the main supplier of goods in Jordan remaining ahead of the United States (8.6%), Germany (4.5%) and the UEA (3.8%). Jordan is a member of the WTO and signed a free-trade agreement (FTA) with the U.S in December 2001, allowing the removal of customs duties on the majority of goods and services since 2010 when it was fully implemented. Jordan has also signed an Agreement of Association with the EU. In 2016, the EU announced that it would facilitate the entry of Jordanian exports in order to support the economy and integration of Syrian refugees. Jordan cancelled its free-trade agreement with Turkey at the end of 2018, citing its feasibility and negative impact on local manufacturing. This agreement was replaced by another free-trade deal at the end of 2019. In addition to the United States, Jordan is also party to bilateral trade agreements with Canada and Singapore and is a signatory to several regional trade agreements including the European Free Trade Association (Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein), Greater Arab Free Trade Agreement (GAFTA), and Aghadir Agreement (Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia) which is connected to the Association Agreement (EU).

Jordan's trade balance is structurally in deficit, mainly because of the country's reliance on hydrocarbon imports. The exports of goods amounts to USD 7.7 billion and the imports of goods to USD 19.5 billion in 2021. The Kingdom's trade deficit increased during the first 11 months of 2021 by 29.2 per cent to reach JD7.824 billion (11.03 billion USD), compared with the same period in 2020, where it stood at JD6.056 billion or 8.54 billion USD (Jordanian Department of Statistics, January 2022). The volume of total exports in the January-November period of 2021 increased by 18.3 per cent to JD5.997 billion (8.45 billion USD), compared with the same period of 2020. The percentage of total export coverage for imports in the first 11 months of 2021 stood at 43.4 per cent compared with 45.6 per cent in the same period of 2020, marking a drop of 2.2 per cent. (Jordanian Department of Statistics & Jordan Times, January 2022).

 
Foreign Trade Values 20172018201920202021
Imports of Goods (million USD) 20,49820,31019,17017,01121,613
Exports of Goods (million USD) 7,5117,7508,3177,9439,357
Imports of Services (million USD) 4,6274,7324,7102,9034,108
Exports of Services (million USD) 6,3897,0827,7182,3224,403

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Indicators 20162017201820192020
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 88.790.288.585.765.4
Trade Balance (million USD) -9,588-10,695-10,302-8,887n/a
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -8,292-8,735-7,823-5,753n/a
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -3.02.5-6.6-3.1-18.2
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -3.01.70.96.5-35.8
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 54.355.653.449.441.7
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 34.434.535.236.323.7

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 2022 (e)2023 (e)2024 (e)2025 (e)2026 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) 16.05.53.73.23.0
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) 8.62.52.93.43.3

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
International Economic Cooperation
The Jordanian economy is very open. The country is part of the Greater Arab Free Trade Area(GAFTA), a pact of the Arab League entered into force in January 2005 which aims to form an Arabic free trade area. It has also signed bilateral free trade agreements with most of the countries of the Arab League. Jordan has also signed an agreement with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), the United States and Singapore. Jordan has signed the Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreement which provides for a free trade area between the European Union and the other signatory countries. Finally, Jordan is a member of the Agadir agreement which provides for a system of free trade between Jordan, Tunisia and Egypt. Jordan also signed a Free Trade Agreement with Canada.
 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2020
United States 22.1%
India 10.9%
Saudi Arabia 10.5%
Iraq 8.4%
United Arab Emirates 4.4%
See More Countries 43.7%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2020
China 15.9%
Saudi Arabia 12.3%
United States 8.3%
Germany 4.3%
United Arab Emirates 3.7%
See More Countries 55.4%

Source: Comtrade, 2022. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

Main Products

7.9 bn USD of products exported in 2020
Special garments for professional, sporting or...Special garments for professional, sporting or other purposes, n.e.s., knitted or crocheted 18.8%
Mineral or chemical potassic fertilisers (excl....Mineral or chemical potassic fertilisers (excl. those in tablets or similar forms, or in packages with a gross weight of <= 10 kg) 6.8%
Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum, unwrought...Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum, unwrought or not further worked than semi-manufactured or in powder form 5.5%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed...Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses "incl. those in the form of transdermal administration" or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 5.4%
Natural calcium phosphates and natural aluminium...Natural calcium phosphates and natural aluminium calcium phosphates, natural and phosphatic chalk 4.3%
See More Products 59.2%
17.0 bn USD of products imported in 2020
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 4.6%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 4.4%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 3.3%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed...Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses "incl. those in the form of transdermal administration" or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 2.8%
Telephone sets, incl. telephones for cellular...Telephone sets, incl. telephones for cellular networks or for other wireless networks; other apparatus for the transmission or reception of voice, images or other data, incl. apparatus for communication in a wired or wireless network [such as a local or wide area network]; parts thereof (excl. than transmission or reception apparatus of heading 8443, 8525, 8527 or 8528) 2.7%
See More Products 82.2%

Source: Comtrade, 2022. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows.

 

Main Services

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, 2022. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

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Latest Update: November 2022