OBG Event

05 Sep 2012

Government and private sector-led efforts to address economic challenges and restore growth explored in 2012 Jordan report

Jordan’s plans to tackle rising budget deficits, reduce unemployment, promote entrepreneurship and strengthen core industries are explored in detail in a landmark economic guide produced by the global publishing, research and consultancy firm Oxford Business Group (OBG).

The Report: Jordan 2012 considers the country’s relative stability amid regional unrest and challenging economic conditions, as well as its success in strengthening international trade and investment ties. In addition, the publication focuses on the strong performance of key domestic industries, including  information and communications technology (ICT), education, healthcare, banking and tourism. The tenth-anniversary report was launched on September 5th in the Ballroom of the Marriot Hotel, Amman.

The Report: Jordan 2012 contains a contribution from King Abdullah II of Jordan, along with a detailed, sector-by-sector guide for investors. It also provides a wide range of interviews with leading figures in local business and politics, including the former Minister of Finance Umayya Toukan, the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Nayef Al Fayez, the Chairman of the Jordan Chamber of Industry Hatem Halawani, the Executive Chairman of Oasis 500 Usama Fayad, and the Governor of the Central Bank of Jordan Ziad Fariz.

International personalities, such as Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki, Chairman of the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee John Kerry, Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Suez Environnement CEO Jean Louis Chaussade also offer their views on Jordan’s economic development.

The Report: Jordan 2012 examines the contribution that the population’s level of education is expected to make towards the country’s long-term economic recovery and development. There is in-depth analysis of Jordan’s continuing plans to evolve into a regional ICT base, along with coverage of public and private sector-led efforts to develop local human capital and create jobs.

With figures showing that Jordan’s export levels are up despite difficult global conditions, OBG’s new report gauges the benefits that key free trade deals, especially the FTA signed with the US, have brought to the Kingdom’s industrial sector. The publication charts Jordan’s plans to further strengthen international cooperation, while also exploring the gains that GCC membership would bring to both sides.

The Report: Jordan 2012 documents the banks’ role in supporting government initiatives and international programmes aimed at increasing financing to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). It also measures the levels of growth in the Islamic banking segment.

Keen to avoid a drop in visitor numbers, Jordan’s tourism authorities are putting special emphasis on several niche areas, including the medical and religious segments, which are put under the microscope in OBG’s latest publication. The Report: Jordan 2012 also weighs up the challenges the country faces in balancing its plans to expand tourism in the Dead Sea whilst looking at the environmental and ecological concerns.

OBG has drawn on the research and expertise of the Jordan Investment Board (JIB), with additional support during the compilation of research provided by Arab Bank, AB Invest, Ernst and Young and Zu’bi Advocates.

Regional Editor of OBG Oliver Cornock said, “OBG has been covering the ups and downs of the Jordanian economy for 10 years now. As we mark this milestone, it is clear the Kingdom’s economy always labours under certain structural disadvantages – from scarcity of natural resources to its position amidst a volatile region; yet it is a measure of Jordan’s perseverance that it has nonetheless secured a number of footholds in the global economy from which to successfully compete and is well-placed to capture renewed growth from other emerging market.”.

The Acting CEO of the Jordan Investment Board (JIB) Awni Al-Rushoud said Jordan’s commitment to driving forward new initiatives, such as the introduction of a new renewable energy law, was attracting the attention of investors who were looking to establish or relocate their business to a dynamic, safe and stable destination. “This legislation generated unprecedented interest in Jordan from all over the world,” he said.

Al-Rushoud added that OBG’s publications had helped channel vital information about Jordan’s evolving economic landscape to business leaders worldwide during the company’s ten years of operations in the Kingdom. “It was a pleasure to team up with the Group once again and contribute to this important report which provides excellent coverage of the new and changing facets of Jordan’s economy,” he said.

Country Director for The Report: Jordan 2012, Miranda Stobbs paid tribute to the partners for their ongoing support. “Their local expertise has helped Oxford Business Group break new ground in its research.’ She added ‘ I am confident that by capturing and analysing these significant developments, we have produced a report that will be extremely useful to the global and local business community when it comes to making its investment decisions.”

The Report: Jordan 2012 marks the culmination of more than six months of field research by a team of analysts from OBG, assessing trends and developments across the economy, including macroeconomics, infrastructure, banking and other sectoral developments. The report is available in print or online.