02/10/2007 - 22:00

New export buzz about Jordan

02/10/2007 - 22:00

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Jordan may be a minor trading partner for Western Australia, overshadowed by Dubai and other parts of the Middle East, but a number of local businesses are finding a niche for their products in the country.

New export buzz about Jordan

Jordan may be a minor trading partner for Western Australia, overshadowed by Dubai and other parts of the Middle East, but a number of local businesses are finding a niche for their products in the country.

Roleystone-based bee breeder, Boss Lady Queens, is one WA small business to have enjoyed trade success in Jordan.

The company, which was founded three years ago, began exporting its queen bees last year and is looking to become a preferred supplier to Jordan.

Boss Lady Queens founder Ron Clark said WA had an advantage over other markets in the region, such as Egypt, because its product was disease-free.

“We had an inquiry from Jordan and sent 50 bees across, because we needed to know how they would travel. We’re now looking to appoint a sole importer of bees,” Mr Clark said.

Each bee is priced at $US20 and is used as breeding stock by the importer.

Mr Clark said the company had received special approval from Jordan’s agriculture minister to export live bees.

“Jordan is the first country that WA can send live bees in a box to. It’s never been done before, to our knowledge,” he said.

Boss Lady Queens, which employs a scientist and three other staff, is set to negotiate a similar export arrangement with a Japanese company this month.

It also sent a shipment of 50 bees to Tahiti last year.

Mr Clark said the company was aiming to increase its production from 8,000 to 15,000 bees in 2007-08.

Austrade’s business development manager to Amman, Hania Ghannoum, said WA’s trade with Jordan was becoming more diverse, with education services in particular becoming a growth market since September 11 2001.

Ms Ghannoum said that, in addition to education, agriculture and tourism, the Jordanian construction industry was becoming attractive to overseas companies.

Reflecting the growth in that industry, Perth-based steel building products company, JV Global Ltd, last week signed a deal with Jordan-based Tuhama Investments, to build a display home for JV Global’s proposed entry into the local housing market.

Under the agreement, JV Global will supply and build a residential steel-framed house, using a design provided by Tuhama, with the latter to also supply walls and internal fit-out.

The end product will be used as a model for gaining building approvals from Jordanian authorities.

JV Global managing director Terry Opie said the Jordan housing market held huge potential for alternative housing, such as the company’s light steel frame product.

“The government is trying to promote alternative methods of construction to bricks. Traditional homes are built like fortresses and are no longer affordable to the average Jordanian,” Mr Opie said.  

JV Global’s steel frame house costs about $80 per square metre to build in Jordan, compared with the standard $130 per square metre for a brick house.

“We think there’s going to be a significant saving. Changing people’s mindset will be the challenge, although the government is actively pursuing this,” Mr Opie said.

JV Global (Australia) Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of JV Global, has had a joint venture agreement with Arabian Profile Co. Ltd in the UAE for the past 18 months.

The company is also involved in ongoing negotiations with companies in India and China to establish manufacturing facilities.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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