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Aggressive marketing needed to boost Jordanian Dead Sea cosmetic exports

2010-04-26 14:30 BJT

AMMAN, April 25 (Xinhua)-- Aggressive marketing is needed to boost exports of Jordan's Dead Sea cosmetics, manufacturers in the industry said on Sunday, blaming the "shy" volume of exports of these products on the country's weak promotion.

Jordan's 20 factories manufacturing Dead Sea products export annually some 20 million U.S. dollars worth of cosmetics,less than exports by one of the Israeli companies in the industry, according to Jordan's Dead Sea Products Manufacturers Association.

Israel's annual exports of these products amount to 140 million dollars, according to the association.

Osama Qutaishat, head of the association, told Xinhua that " There is a dire need for multi-scale, aggressive, intensified strategies to market and promote Jordan's Dead Sea products. This industry is untapped, and potential for investments in this business is huge."

Production of the Dead Sea products, rich in minerals well- known for their therapeutic features, started in the mid-1980s in Jordan, said Qutaishat, adding that the Arab kingdom's annual exports of the products stood at about 7 million to 8 million dollars before the year of 2000.

The Dead Sea contains more salt than other seas, the reason behind its world-renowned buoyancy. Its waters and minerals are also well-known for healing.

Qutaishat said the Dead Sea mud is rich in minerals and salt, adding the minerals include silicon, sodium, magnesium, potassium that help treat many skin diseases.

"Unlike the shorelines on the Israeli side that are rocky, the Dead Sea shorelines on the Jordanian side are muddy and full of minerals. Israel even imports the mud from Jordan for the manufacturing of its products," said Qutaishat.

According to Qutaishat, Jordanian Dead Sea products are exported to 64 countries across the world, mainly East Asia, the United States and Canada, but the Israeli Dead Sea products are better known than the Jordanian ones due to systematic and proper marketing and government support.

Mohammad Rifai, managing director of Jordanian Company for Dead Sea Products, told Xinhua on Sunday that a full engagement by the Jordanian embassies abroad will help boost the country's exports.

"Companies and government alike need to work on marketing for the unique Dead Sea products. Taking part in international expos, such as the upcoming Shanghai Expo, is a great opportunity for companies to promote these products," Rifai said.

"Jordanian embassies can help a lot if they get involved in the marketing of these unique natural products," he said.

To boost the industry and help increase exports, Qutaishat called on the government to remove some taxes and fees it imposes on raw materials imported for the manufacturing of these products.

"Although the export volumes are very modest, I expect exports of these products to increase in the next five years, especially by penetrating new emerging markets such as the Chinese market," Qutaishat said.

"All what we need is intensified and well-studied marketing as Jordanian products are also competitive in price," said Qutaishat, adding that Jordanian products are about 30-40 percent lower than Israel products in terms of price.

"The need for marketing of Dead Sea products is not just to increase exports. The better these products are known, the more tourists will come to visit the unique Dead Sea," said Qutaishat.

Editor: Zhang Ning | Source: Xinhua