Country Listing

Jordan Table of Contents




Fertilizer plant, Al Aqabah

The manufacturing sector had two tiers. On one level were the large-scale, wholly or partially state-owned industrial establishments that produced chemicals, petrochemicals, fertilizers, and mineral products. These manufacturing entities included the "big five" companies that constituted the pillars of the industrial base: the Jordan Phosphate Mines Company, the Jordan Fertilizer Industries Company, the Arab Potash Company, Intermediate Petrochemical Industries, the Jordan Cement Factories Company, and also a recently enlarged oil refinery at Az Zarqa that employed about 3,000 persons. The chemical products sector employed about 4,000 workers at about seventy facilities. Because these industries were established to process the products of Jordan's mining and extractive sector, it was difficult to distinguish between the industrial and natural resource sectors of the economy (see Natural Resources , this ch.).

Petroleum refining contributed 39 percent to gross output manufacturing; fertilizers, potash, and other nonmetallic minerals, 13 percent; industrial chemicals, about 8 percent; and iron, steel, and fabricated metal products, about 10 percent. Thus, about 70 percent of total manufacturing output was closely linked to the mining and extractive sector. The high contribution of these industries to the total value of manufacturing output resulted in part from the high underlying value of the natural resource inputs on which they were based. The same industries accounted for about 57 percent of total value added in manufacturing (see table 10, Appendix).

On the other level were small or medium-sized light manufacturing entities, many privately owned, that produced a wide array of consumer products. Many of these entities were cottage industries or small bazaar workshops. By one estimate, in 1984 more than 75 percent of the approximately 8,500 manufacturing companies employed fewer than five persons each. The most important, in order of contribution to gross output value, were food processing, tobacco and cigarettes, paper and packaging, beverages, furniture, textiles, and plastics. These companies and other smaller industries such as publishing, glass and rubber products, electrical equipment, and machinery--each of which contributed less than 1 percent of total manufacturing output value--together contributed about 30 percent of gross manufacturing output and 43 percent of manufacturing value added.

Data as of December 1989