UK agency inks first Jordan deal to create 4,000 jobs By Andy Sambidge June 29, 2022 Supplied Jordan's Classic Fashion Apparel is the largest clothing manufacturer in the Mena region Classic Fashion Apparel to grow to 165m garments this yearDeal aims to inspire similar agreements for mutual benefitUK support extends beyond funding to providing materials UK Export Finance (UKEF), the government’s export credit agency, has announced its first deal in Jordan to support the largest clothes manufacturer in the Middle East and North Africa in the construction of new factories and a corporate office in Aqaba. The deal with Classic Fashion Apparel Industry, worth £66 million, will facilitate the building of four factories including three satellite manufacturing units as well as the Aqaba main facility and aims to enhance Jordan’s already strong textile industry. UKEF said it has provided support through a combination of direct lending and a buyer credit guarantee, allowing Classic Fashion Apparel Industry to move swiftly with the project. The new planned site located in Aqaba Special Economic Zone is expected to create around 4,000 jobs for Jordanians by 2024. From chocolate to solar power, the UK-GCC trade deal is a winner The deal comes as latest figures from the Department of International Trade shows total trade in goods and services between the UK and Jordan reached £653 million in 2021, an increase of 3.7 percent or £23 million compared to 2020. Total UK exports to Jordan amounted to £528 million, up 13.1 percent, while UK imports from Jordan amounted to £125 million, down 23.3 percent. Last year, Jordan was the UK’s 89th largest trading partner. Sanal Kumar, chairman and managing director of Classic Fashion Apparel Industry, said: “My humble journey of life and what I have achieved today started based on a self-realisation that you can raise yourself to your highest potential and deliver 100 percent of what you are capable of. “Today Classic Fashion is the outcome of this simple thought. “I thank UKEF, the British Embassy, the Department for International Trade in Amman and HSBC for supporting Classic Fashion in its journey of creating another 4000 jobs for Jordanians.” Bridget Brind OBE, British Ambassador to Jordan, added: “I am delighted to welcome this ground-breaking deal with Classic Fashion as the first to be backed by UK Export Finance in Jordan. “It will help create new jobs and increase exports, contributing to Jordan’s economic growth and future prosperity. I hope it can act as a success story which can inspire more similar agreements in the future for the benefit of Jordan and the United Kingdom.” The UK’s support will extend beyond the funding scheme, as more than 30 percent of the services and supplies for the project, such as machinery and other building materials, will come directly from UK providers. ASGC UK, a British construction company in the region, will project manage and oversee all related elements to ensure quality and timely delivery. Classic Fashion Apparel Industry Group is the largest apparel manufacturer in the Mena region. It produces around 550,000 garments per day and contributes to over 42 percent of all garment exports from Jordan. The company produced 130 million garments in 2021 and expects production to grow to 165 million garments this year. Through UKEF, the UK supports international buyers in accessing finance and insurance when it is not available from the private sector. It has made up to £3 billion available to help Jordanian buyers access the finance they need to trade with the UK.