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Report | The Report: Jordan 2018

As ongoing volatility continues to hamper growth in the region, Jordan has made significant progress in preserving macroeconomic stability and reducing its fiscal deficit in the past few years. Efforts to the fulfill the stipulations of a $723m extended fund facility agreement with the IMF continue, and the government may need to pursue more widespread reforms to increase income tax revenues and limit tax avoidance so as to sustain recent momentum.

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Chapter | Legal Framework from The Report: Jordan 2018

This chapter contains an overview of the legal framework in which local and foreign investors operate in Jordan including an outline of workers’ rights and employer regulations and a summary of the types of company for investment. This chapter contains a viewpoint from Khaled Asfour, Managing Partner, Zu’bi Advocates & Legal Consultants.

Chapter | Tax from The Report: Jordan 2018

This chapter contains an overview of the tax framework in which local and foreign investors operate in Jordan including a look at the changes to the tax code that are currently underway and a breakdown of the investment incentives available in the country’s special economic zones. This chapter contains a viewpoint from Osama Shakhatreh, Assurance Partner, Ernst & Young Jordan.

Chapter | Health & Education from The Report: Jordan 2018

A regional leader in service delivery and speciality care, Jordan’s health sector benefits from a large skilled workforce; a high-quality, low-cost medical tourism segment; and a robust pharmaceuticals manufacturing base. Expenditure on health care provision has risen consistently over the last decade, supporting strong improvements in indicators and outcomes. Meanwhile the kingdom benefits from a well-developed, advanced education system, with literacy rates among the highest in the region, and a large, diverse population of graduate students and researchers. However, the system is simultaneously dealing with rapid population growth and rising demand for post-secondary degrees, which has strained public universities. A mismatch between academic development and labour market demands has also created a shortage of skilled tradesmen. This chapter contains an interview with Labib Khadra, President, Al Hussein Technical University.

Chapter | ICT from The Report: Jordan 2018

Holding the potential to become a major economic growth driver, Jordan’s ICT sector has seen decades of robust telecoms expansion and a liberalisation agenda launched in the early 2000s, supporting rapid growth in mobile penetration and internet usage. Jordan’s ICT sector has been the focus of a series of recent government reforms aimed at supporting macroeconomic growth, with new lending programmes and multiple tax incentives supporting tech firms and IT service providers. The same cannot be said for telecoms operators, which face one of the world’s highest sector-specific tax burdens, with ongoing government efforts to accelerate fiscal consolidation remaining a cause for concern among stakeholders. Recent sector development strategies have identified multiple ICT business lines offering considerable private sector investment opportunities, with the ongoing e-government services and digitisation drive expected to support private sector growth, enabling sustainable long-term development and the eventual transformation into a knowledge-based economy. This chapter contains an interview with Ghazi Al Jobor, CEO, Telecommunications Regulatory Commission.

Chapter | Tourism from The Report: Jordan 2018

With sweeping desert landscapes alongside natural and man-made wonders, tourism is an important facet of Jordan’s economy. Visitors flock to the country to see the fabled ancient city of Petra, take in important holy sites for Christians, Jews and Muslims, and bathe in the Dead Sea. While continued tension in the region has dented tourist numbers over the last few years, there are signs that this is turning around, with marketing strategies now in place to better promote the kingdom and further develop niche tourism segments, such as adventure, film and medical tourism. International hotel chains continue to add to the number of rooms available in the kingdom, establishing the foundations for long-term growth. This chapter contains an interview with Lina Annab, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities.

Chapter | Industry & Retail from The Report: Jordan 2018

The manufacturing, mining, quarrying and construction sectors continue to be pillars of Jordan’s economy, collectively accounting for around one-fifth of GDP in 2016. In recent years stable figures have been achieved despite adverse regional events, including war, border closures, population displacement and global market softening. As the relaxed rules of origin agreement with the EU began to affect more businesses in 2017, the sector anticipated higher growth. The border crossing with Iraq officially reopened in late August that year after two years of closure, and there is hope that the situation in Syria could begin to stabilise. Rebuilding the region after years of conflict is a goal both in Jordan and beyond, with important benefits for the kingdom’s businesses. Meanwhile as one of the least-saturated markets in the MENA region for modern retail, Jordan is set to see a new crop of major malls and outlets open throughout 2018, consolidating its reputation as a growth country for the industry. This chapter contains an interview with Yarub Qudah, Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply.