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Transforming Regions of Conflict through Trade Preferential Agreements: Israel, Jordan and the QIZ Initiative

  • Tamar Arieli EMAIL logo and Yehudith Kahn


The Qualified Industrial Zone (QIZ) model of border-located, duty and quota-free industrial regions is a policy tool designed to capitalize on cross-border cooperation to facilitate post-conflict normalization. Using mixed methods, this study presents and evaluates the implementation of the 1996 US initiated Israel-Jordan QIZ agreement and its social, economic and political impact, contributing to broader debates regarding the potential and limitations of post-conflict normalization through trade preference agreements. The Israel-Jordan QIZ framework no longer functions due to multiple circumstances. Yet there are lessons to be gained from the mechanisms of the QIZ implementation which contributed to the only minimal realization of its anticipated potential. We found that economic brokerage fostering trade and industry cross-border cooperation can serve one-sided economic interests while minimizing spillover to political or social realms, contrary to original intentions. The QIZ experience demonstrates the importance of self-motivation of each of the parties regarding specific cooperative ventures in realizing the potential of cross-border cooperation.


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Published Online: 2019-05-29

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