Francisco A. Laguna & Wojciech Kornacki
Jordan has a stable government, strategic location, and one of the most open economies in the region. Jordan is an active trading partner with the European Union and the United States, and it has a well-educated and skilled labor force. In addition, English is widely spoken, and Jordan is safe and very popular with tourists and students. These attributes make Jordan one of the best places for foreign direct investment in the Middle East.
Jordan is located between Israel, Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Its population is 8,117,564. Jordan’s economy is one of the smallest in the region, but it is also one of the fastest growing. While other developing economies in the region are declining, Jordan’s economy is forecasted to grow.
Jordan is very pro international trade. The largest exporters to Jordan include the EU, Saudi Arabia, China and the United States. Since Jordan has signed a Free Trade Agreement with the United States, bilateral trade between both countries has surged ten-fold in the last 13 years.
Jordan’s Priority Sectors for Economic Development
Jordan spends approximately 15 % or US$ 5.4 billion of its Gross Domestic Product on energy. To increase its energy independence, Jordan is likely to invest in energy-efficient projects, renewable energy, rooftop solar panels and sun-powered water heaters. The EU and Jordan are going to invest US$ 100 million in solar energy. This sector of Jordan’s economy offers significant potential growth in the future. The investment into the energy market is also likely to benefit many refugees which are currently living in Jordan.
Information and Communications Technology (ICT):
The information and communications technology sector is one of the best sectors to invest for US companies. The number of mobile subscribers in Jordan is expected to grow. It is estimated that on average, the mobile sector grows 10% annually. While weak consumer purchasing power could be a concern, it has not stopped the market from growing.
Defense and Security:
Jordan is in the process of rearming its armed forces in order to better support its regional missions. This means significant spending to obtain new military equipment and improve capacity. Currently, Jordan possesses a highly trained but rather small military force. To highlight its Western ties and military needs, Jordan is a host to the XI Special Operations Forces Exhibition and Conference which will be held in May 2016.
Other industry sectors that also receive significant attention are healthcare, education and business services. If you are interested in learning more about future business opportunities in Iran and how to increase your chances of harnessing them, contact TransLegal or call 703-566-9427.