COUNTRY PROFILE Making progress: A highly educated population possesses the key to future development POLITICS Holding the centre: Amidst challenging times, the kingdom remains a regional focal point An exclusive club: GCC membership would benefit both parties Viewpoint: King Abdullah II The long spring: Unrest in the region has further underscored the importance of reform Interview: Nouri Al Maliki, Prime Minister of Iraq Interview: John Kerry, US Senator and Chairman, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Partners in peace: Working to resolve one of the region’s oldest conflicts ECONOMY Balancing priorities: Working to maintain growth in fiscally challenging times Extended reach: Strengthening international trade ties Interview: Awni Al Rushoud, Acting CEO, Jordan Investment Board Interview: Maen Nsour, Director-General, Social Security Corporation Time to review: Amended tax legislation should help reduce fiscal pressure A more competitive workforce: Building workers’ skills and attempting to increase employment Viewpoint: Umayya Toukan, Minister of Finance Neighbourly ties: Trade and investment between Jordan and Iraq are growing BANKING Steady returns: More sophisticated products are on offer from well-capitalised banks Interview: Ziad Fariz, Governor, Central Bank of Jordan Viewpoint: Kholoud Saqqaf, Executive Vice-President, Arab Bank Valuable credit: Facilitating a wider choice of financing options for small businesses Roundtable: Tarek Akel, CEO, Al Rajhi Bank; Iyad Ghasoub Asali, General Manager, Islamic International Arab Bank; Sami Al Afghani, CEO, Jordan Dubai Islamic Bank; Musa Shihadeh, Vice-Chairman and CEO, Jordan Islamic Bank Mobilising savings: A clearer regulatory framework would benefit the expanding Islamic banking sector The digital age: Boosting the use of technology in the sector is a priority CAPITAL MARKETS A turning point: Investors and institutions are preparing for the market to pick up Smarter regulation: Plans are under way to enhance the regulatory framework Interview: Samir Jaradat, CEO, Securities Depository Centre Interview: Adel Kasaji, CEO, AB Invest Financing opportunities: A new private equity fund is designed to help boost the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises Stocks & bonds: Share analysis & data provided by AB Invest Bank Al Etihad: Banking Jordan Cement Factories: Mining & Extraction Jordan Express Tourist Transport: Transport Jordan Steel: Mining & Extraction Siniora Food Industries: Food & Beverages Specialised Investment Compounds: Real Estate INSURANCE Broader, bigger, better: The sector is looking to diversify its offerings Worthwhile widening: Greater penetration and diversity are needed to keep profits up Interview: Othman M Bdeir, Chairman, Jordan Insurance Federation TRANSPORT & LOGISTICS Moving forward: Well-developed road and air networks compensate for a weak rail system Changing times: Government strategy and regulatory reform Interview: Ibrahim Naouri, Chairman, Naouri Group Interview: Kjeld Binger, CEO, Airport International Group ENERGY Plan of action: Preparations to meet increasing demand are under way Interview: Qutaibah Abu Qura, Former Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Interview: Mike Weightman, Chairman, Regulatory Cooperation Forum; Chief Inspector, UK nuclear installations; and Executive Head, Office for Nuclear Regulation Searching for gas: Finding alternatives for imports has become a priority Power surge: A raft of foreign investment is set to boost generation capacity Interview: Christopher Morgan, Chairman, Karak International Oil Supporting security: Despite progress, much needs to be done to introduce nuclear power to the sector INDUSTRY & RETAIL A growth market: Increasing export levels and new free trade deals boost the sector in spite of difficult global conditions A vital contribution: Industrial estates and special zones provide a number of advantages Interview: Hatem Halawani, Chairman, Jordan Chamber of Industry Interview: Bashar Arafeh, Director and CEO, ePoints Cultivating the market: Higher prices and exports have helped to boost the potash industry Dressed for success: Trade deals make the garment segment a key contributor to exports Finding a niche: Hypermarkets and large shopping centres are growing in spite of reduced purchasing power AQABA A focus of development: Numerous projects look set to transform the city Filling in the gaps: Three major projects help to turn Aqaba into a centre for tourism Interview: Nasser Madadha, Chief Commissioner, Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority, and Chairman of the Board, Aqaba Development Corporation New opportunities: Projects in a range of sectors are generating tenders and contracts CONSTRUCTION & REAL ESTATE Turning the tide: New regulations and regional cooperation pull the sector forward Big plans: Major projects advance despite limited funding Interview: Yahya Kisbi, Minister of Public Works and Housing Interview: Yousef Al Nowais, Managing Director, Al Maabar Playing to its strengths: Prudent development and business models keep the sector afloat IT & TELECOMS Programing potential: Rising penetration levels spur new focus on the sector A central server: The country is becoming a base for regional operations Interview: Basem Rousan, Former Minister of Information and Communications Technology Interview: Abdelmajeed Shamlawi, CEO, Information and Communications Technology Association of Jordan Mutual gains: The industry is looking to increase specialisation Interview: Usama Fayyad, Executive Chairman, OASIS 500 Interview: John Chambers, Chairman and CEO, Cisco Training initiatives: A new focus on human resources as the sector expands The right call: Mobile remains a sector highlight, while 3G access boosts demand The next generation: Introducing new data technology has caused several changes TOURISM Good things in small packages: Benefitting from a diverse offering, the sector is displaying signs of recovery amidst a difficult regional backdrop Interview: Nayef Al Fayez, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Nature abounds: Ecotourism is one of the most promising growth niches Striking a balance: Developing the Dead Sea while keeping a close eye on environmental and ecological concerns EDUCATION Aiming higher: Efforts to align the system with the demands of the labour market Start-up support: Offering improved access to lending and fostering entrepreneurship Interview: Professor Labib Khadra, President, German-Jordanian University HEALTH A clean bill: One of the region’s top health sectors is looking to increase both efficiency and capacity Treating the region: Medical tourism attracts investment to the sector Interview: Dr Awni Al Bashir, President, Private Hospitals Association Interview: Raed Shadfan, CEO, Atlas Medical AGRICULTURE & WATER Looking to the future: Changes ahead for the both the export market and water supply Export ambitions: Global demand for high-quality olive oil creates new market potential Interview: Mousa Al Jamaani, Minister of Water and Irrigation Interview: Jean Louis Chaussade, CEO, Suez Environnement Investing in water: Boosting supply and enhancing delivery are top priorities MEDIA & ADVERTISING Making a name for itself: A greater focus on quality and technology should serve the sector well going forward Going digital: Rising internet penetration leads to a boom in online media consumption and a host of new opportunities Interview: Yousef Shamoun, CEO and Co-Founder, Akhtaboot A time of transition: Online and mobile segments have much potential, while print remains dominant for now TAX Ernst & Young Jordan & Iraq Benefits of investment: Business-friendly policies continue Viewpoint: Bishr Baker, Managing Partner, Ernst & Young Jordan & Iraq LEGAL FRAMEWORK Ali Sharif Zu’bi Advocates and Legal Consultants Encouraging foreign investors: Various incentives help international companies operate within the kingdom Viewpoint: Khaled Asfour, Managing Partner, Ali Sharif Zu’bi Advocates and Legal Consultants THE GUIDE A new wonder: Petra continues to draw in visitors 200 years after its rediscovery Rest and recuperate: Selected hotels Listings: Important numbers, including government agencies, embassies, and chambers of commerce and industry Facts for visitors: A quick overview of essentials for new arrivals in the kingdom