Jordan is primed and positioned for investment

| December 18, 2017 | 0 Comments
Jordan is a transportation hub for the Middle East, with access to the Red Sea through the Port of Aqaba, pictured here. (Photo: Xavi Talleda)

Jordan is a transportation hub for the Middle East, with access to the Red Sea through the Port of Aqaba, pictured here. (Photo: Xavi Talleda)

Since King Abdullah’s 1999 ascension to the throne, Jordan has taken steps to encourage foreign investment and develop an outward-oriented market-based globally competitive economy.
In particular, banking, ICT, pharmaceuticals, tourism and services sectors have all seen key reforms in recent years. Foreign and domestic investment laws grant specific incentives to industry, agriculture, tourism, hospitals, transportation, energy and water distribution. Jordan is also uniquely positioned geopolitically to host large-scale investments focused on the reconstruction of Iraq and other regional markets.
Jordan provides a comprehensive range of incentives to potential investors, including an optimum climate for investments. The government has also taken numerous measures to enhance the economic and financial legal framework for investment. The new investment law streamlines processes thanks to a single starting point with the Jordan Investment Commission.
Beyond that, why invest in Jordan? First, it is located where Europe, Asia and Africa meet and it is a transportation hub for the Middle East, with access to the Red Sea through the Port of Aqaba and other ports in neighbouring countries. Companies looking for major reconstruction projects near Jordan can establish logistical and administrative hubs in Jordan, which is a safe and business-friendly environment.
Jordan also has a stable political environment with a monarchy supported by a democratically elected parliament. Freedom of belief, speech, press, association and private property are all in force and are accompanied by a commitment to a free market.
To attract businesses and investment projects, Jordan has exempted investments from income and social services taxes by between 25 and 75 per cent, depending on the location of the project, for a 10-year period. Additionally, imported fixed assets are 100 per cent exempted from customs duties and taxes. Another exemption from customs duties and income tax is granted for the expansion, modernization or development of existing projects. Hotels and hospitals may purchase furniture and supplies without customs duties once every seven years for renewal purposes.
Two-way trade volumes between Canada and Jordan stood at $173 million in 2016. Canada exported $81.3 million worth of goods, including vehicles and equipment, machinery/mechanical products, vegetable products, wood, paper and chemicals. Jordan sent $91.8 million worth of goods to Canada, including textiles, vegetables, precious metals/stones, chemical products, food products and mechanical/machinery products.
The Canada-Jordan Free Trade Agreement (FTA) entered into force in late 2012 and is Canada’s first FTA with an Arab country. The agreement gives Canadians access to new markets, customers and partnerships, as well as creating stronger supply and production chains. It immediately eliminated tariffs, which ran as high as 30 per cent, on more than 99 per cent of current Canadian exports to Jordan and will eliminate tariffs on a small number of other products over the next three to five years.
The agreement opens doors widely for both parties to expand trade and investments. Jordan also enjoys duty- and quota-free access to the U.S. market. Jordan has duty-free access to more than 10 Arab countries through the AFTA and has bilateral agreements and favourable protocols with more than 20 countries. Jordan is also an active member of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).
Jordan has world-class infrastructure. Its state telephone company operates on a commercial basis and is expected to privatize 40 per cent of the company in the near future. Royal Jordanian Airlines has direct flights to 47 major cities in Europe, the Middle East, the Far East, North Africa and North America. A modern highway network with major trucking lines ensures the movement of raw materials to and from the port of Aqaba as well as into and from ports of neighbouring countries.
Jordanians enjoy high living standards. Amenities are readily available and affordable. High-quality public and private education is available in Arabic, English and French. Jordan also prides itself on its quality affordable health services.
Finally, Jordan is a tourist destination for history and antiquity enthusiasts. The country is essentially an open-air museum with more than 26,000 archeological sites, many of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The most renowned are Petra, the Seventh Wonder of the World; the Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth; and the official baptism site of Jesus Christ, just to name a few.

Rima Alaadeen is the ambassador of
Jordan. Email her at ottawa@fm.gov.jo
or phone her at (613) 238-8090.

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Rima Alaadeen is the ambassador of Jordan. Email her at ottawa@fm.gov.jo or phone her at (613) 238-8090.

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