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.