Economy & Business
Jordan's unique, strategic location in the heart of the Middle East, as well as being a part of the African, European and Asian Production and consumption markets, makes it a link between the three continents. Throughout the years Jordan was able to provide a base of political and economic stability. Therefore, Jordan has been for many years a focal trading center in the Middle East, open to foreign investment, with one of the youngest, most highly educated population in the region.
Today, Jordan has proved its ability to grow and is now well positioned to reap the rewards of any improvements in the political and economic integration of the region.
Jordan's Competitive Advantages
Jordan's combines three key competitive attributes:
Situated at the meeting point of three continents, Jordan has developed into a modern country that integrates ancient heritage and Middle Eastern hospitality with high standards of education and advanced communication technology.
Jordan has one of the highest literacy rates in the region. With its large pool of high caliber intellectual and professional expertise, it is a major supplier of brainpower to neighboring countries.
The economy is gradually undergoing a favorable identity and personality. In addition foreign economic policy is changing from one of protectionism to one of free trade.
Investment Opportunities in Jordan
Jordan is the ideal base for businesses interested in investing in the Middle East and North Africa region. The potential payoff for investment in Jordan is highly promising. Because of Jordan's strategic location, internal stability and dedicated leadership, it is uniquely placed to offer unparalleled opportunities for companies establishing a regional base.
Jordan has been recognized as a country with numerous opportunities for doing business, especially after the economic and legal reform it went through, such as the Investment Promotion Law of 1995. The Law does not discriminate between Jordanian and foreign investors, at the same time it introduces guarantees against expropriation. The Law also provides investors, whether Jordanian or foreign, with additional incentives and tax exemptions.
Jordan possesses economic privileges with several world markets and economic blocs. Its trade protocols with Arab countries provide Jordan with substantial duty-free import quotas and other benefits. Jordan also enjoys leverage over its neighboring countries because its trade relations with international markets are facilitated by the Generalized System of Preference (GSP). This means that Jordan has access to the world's major markets such as North America, Japan, Australia, Scandinavia and other non-EU countries. The system provides duty-free access and reduced import tariffs.
On December 17, 1999, Jordan joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) as the organization?s 136th member. Accession to the WTO will assist Jordan in gaining the opportunity for entering the global market, promoting its trade and improving its economy. Joining the WTO will benefit consumers since lower tariffs are expected to lower the prices of imported goods.
Moreover, Jordan has signed a Partnership Agreement with the European Union. The agreement is one of the early benefits and a significant manifestation of Jordan's drive toward integrating its economy both on a regional and global level. It calls for the gradual removal of trade barriers and the establishment of a free zone with the European Community over a twelve year period.
In addition to benefits in the political, social and cultural fields, the Partnership Agreement promises distinct economic yields for Jordan's development. The accord will encourage more direct European investments, provide free access to EU market for the Kingdom's agriculture and industrial products and facilitate the transfer of state-of-the-art technology to Jordan.
Qualified Industrial Zones
One of Jordan's successful experiences in
attracting foreign investment has been with the Qualified
Industrial Zones (QIZ). The concept of QIZs has been proposed by the
United States of America in November 1996. In March 1998, Jordan and Israel signed a
bilateral agreement designating Al Hassan Industrial Estate in the northern city
of Irbid as Jordan's first QIZ. It quickly attracted foreign investment as
it provides investors with the unique opportunity of full-duty free access to the US
market for any goods produced within the Zone. Jordan benefits greatly
from these investments, in the form of increased employment opportunities for
Jordanians and a transfer of technology. Due to the success of Al Hassan
Industrial Estate and a growing demand on factories, the government has embarked
on plans to build similiar industrial estates in the southern cities of Karak and