Jordan: Reforms In Pipeline As Kingdom Eyes Economic Recovery

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17 Oct 2011
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GCC membership bid and government development programme explored in 2011 report.

Jordan, 17th October 2011: Jordan’s plans to introduce wide-ranging reforms are mapped out in a report just published by Oxford Business Group (OBG). 

The Report: Jordan 2011 explores the Kingdom’s efforts to galvanise economic recovery which include its application to join the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the implementation of a government development programme.

It also offers in-depth analysis of Jordan’s bid to expand its tourism industry by tapping into new markets, including ecotourism and ‘voluntourism’, while building on the drawing power of the Kingdom’s main attractions which include Petra and the Dead Sea.

The Report: Jordan 2011 was launched on 17th October 2011 at the Crowne Plaza in Amman.  The global publishing, research and consultancy firm’s new publication includes a detailed, sector-by-sector guide for investors, alongside wide-ranging interviews with leading political, economic and business leaders, including Jordan’s Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit.

The views of the Minister of Finance Mohammad Abu Hammour, the Minister of Industry and Trade Hani El Mulki, the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Haifa Abu Ghazaleh and the CEO of the Amman Stock Exchange Jalil Tarif are included in the report.

International representatives, including the Secretary-General of the UN World Tourism Organisation Taleb Rifai, the EU Ambassador to Jordan Joanna Wronecka and the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmet Davutoğlu also give their views on Jordan’s economic development.

The Report: Jordan 2011 looks in detail at the JD6.2bn ($8.8bn) development programme which will act as a roadmap for steering public and private sector investment. It also considers the massive boost that GCC membership would bring to Jordan’s economy.

With the Kingdom’s industrial sector maintaining a key role in the country’s economy, the Group’s 2011 report puts Jordan’s only seaport Aqaba under the microscope. It provides incisive coverage of the country’s plans to create new industrial zones in the area while considering the pivotal role that the coastal city plays as Jordan’s primary logistics centre and a key tourist destination.

OBG’s latest publication charts the major upgrades that are under way across Jordan’s transport sector as part of its three-year plan to overhaul the nation’s air, sea, road and rail systems. The publication also explores the key role that Jordan’s proximity to Iraq could play in the development of regional transport.

The Report: Jordan 2011 has been produced in partnership with the Jordan Investment Board and also in collaboration with the Amman Chamber of Commerce, AB Invest, Arab Bank, Ernst and Young and Zu’bi Advocates.

Samer Asfour, CEO of The Jordan Investment Board , said, “The kingdom is undertaking a significant economic reform programme which is underlined in this publication and needs to be highlighted to investors seeking business opportunities in Jordan. Despite the current conditions that the region is undergoing, we feel optimistic about the economic prosperity of the kingdom due to the stability and favourable business opportunities it has to offer.”

Asfour added, “ The country’s bid to join the GCC is hopefully another milestone for the kingdom and the Report features the advantages of joining the economic bloc. Jordan Investment Board is proud to have affiliated with Oxford Business Group on this esteemed publication which will communicate relevant information on key economic sectors to foreign investors.”

OBG’s Editorial Director Peter GrImsditch said the Group’s new report provided in-depth coverage of Jordan’s efforts to attract new investment, which look set to be buoyed by new legislation, together with key analysis of the country’s industrial sector.

“Going forward, Jordan’s Investment Board is focused on promoting ICTs, pharmaceuticals, tourism, and energy, particularly in the renewables subsector,” he said. “The fortunes of the mining sector in particular will also determine economic performance in 2012, and, of course, a successful application to join the GCC will represent a major milestone in Jordan’s economic history.”

New Country Director Miranda Stobbs added that the Prime Minister’s pledge to drive forward reforms should boost Jordan’s economic recovery as stability returns to the region. She also paid tribute to the Group’s partners, saying their contribution had given The Report: Jordan 2011 an edge.

“Our partners here have a firsthand understanding of Jordan’s changing business environment and the challenges the country has faced over the past year,” she said. “Their expertise has helped our team to produce a report which business leaders worldwide will find highly useful when considering the emerging investment opportunities that Jordan’s economic development is producing.”

The Report: Jordan 2011 marks the culmination of more than six months of field research by a team of analysts from OBG, assessing trends and developments in all major sectors of the economy, including energy, industry, finance, banking, tourism, transport and real estate. It is available in print form and online.