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flag Jordan Jordan: Investing

In this page: FDI in Figures | Why You Should Choose to Invest in Jordan | Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment | Investment Opportunities

 

FDI in Figures

In a context where global foreign investment increased by 10.9% in 2013, in particular in Europe (+25.2%) and in Latin America (+17.5%), FDI flows to developing economies reached a new high of US$759 billion. However macroeconomic fragility and policy uncertainties are driving investors to caution.

The Jordanian economy has benefited from massive investment by the Gulf countries which increased from 74 million USD in 2002 to 3.1 billion USD in 2006. However, due to the international crisis in 2011, FDI has declined to 1.5 billion USD, a trend that has been maintained in 2012 and 2013. In order to boost these flows, the government has planned large-scale infrastructure projects (water, transportation, nuclear energy) for which it needs foreign and private funds. Jordan is trying to become a regional logistical crossroads, notably for electric and transport networks.

Investments are mainly concentrated in the field of real estate (residential and commercial), in financial services and in large tourism projects. The process of current programs of investment such as industrial projects, real estate and infrastructures, mainly financed by direct foreign investment, support the economic activity. Nevertheless, the restrictions on foreign credit and the loss of investor confidence could again limit the new influx of foreign direct investment in 2014, notably in the real estate sector. In 2013 the FDI influx totalled over USD 1.4 billion.

Information on the 2013 FDI influx in this region can be accessed in the Global Investment Trade Monitor published in January 2014 by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

 

Country Comparison For the Protection of Investors

  Jordan Middle East & North Africa United States Germany
Index of Transaction Transparency* 5.0 6.0 7.0 5.0
Index of Manager’s Responsibility** 4.0 5.0 9.0 5.0
Index of Shareholders’ Power*** 4.0 9.0 5.0
Index of Investor Protection**** 4.3 5.0 8.3 5.0

Source: Doing Business - Last Available Data.

Note: *The Greater the Index, the More Transparent the Conditions of Transactions. **The Greater the Index, the More the Manager is Personally Responsible. *** The Greater the Index, the Easier it Will Be For Shareholders to Take Legal Action. **** The Greater the Index, the Higher the Level of Investor Protection.

 
Foreign Direct Investment 201120122013
FDI Inward Flow (million USD) 1,4741,4971,798
FDI Stock (million USD) 23,37224,86926,668
Performance Index*, Ranking on 181 Economies 30--
Potential Index**, Ranking on 177 Economies 94--
Number of Greenfield Investments*** 312316
FDI Inwards (in % of GFCF****) 23.618.019.7
FDI Stock (in % of GDP) 81.080.478.8

Source: UNCTAD - Last Available Data.

Note: * The UNCTAD Inward FDI Performance Index is Based on a Ratio of the Country's Share in Global FDI Inflows and its Share in Global GDP. ** The UNCTAD Inward FDI Potential Index is Based on 12 Economic and Structural Variables Such as GDP, Foreign Trade, FDI, Infrastructures, Energy Use, R&D, Education, Country Risk. *** Green Field Investments Are a Form of Foreign Direct Investment Where a Parent Company Starts a New Venture in a Foreign Country By Constructing New Operational Facilities From the Ground Up. **** Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) Measures the Value of Additions to Fixed Assets Purchased By Business, Government and Households Less Disposals of Fixed Assets Sold Off or Scrapped.

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Why You Should Choose to Invest in Jordan

Strong Points
For several years the country has registered substantial growth and the Jordanian market is opening progressively. The government has made a remarkable effort in controlling public spending, which, according to IMF, has placed Jordan among the most dynamic countries in the Middle East. Jordan has also backed the human factor and its workforce is among the best-trained ones in the Arab world.

The country is politically stable. Its geographical location is also an important asset. The agreements signed by the country have given Jordan access to more than a billion potential consumers.

Weak Points
In a political level, Jordan is located in an unstable region being near Iraq, Syria and Israel. On the domestic front, the massive influx of Iraqi refugees, added to a considerable number of Palestinian refugees, may represent a risk factor. In addition, Jordan does not have many natural resources and remains a modest market in comparison with Egypt or its Gulf neighbors. The country registers a substantial structural trade deficit linked to its lack of natural resources and food products. It is very dependent on foreign aid.
Government Measures to Motivate or Restrict FDI
King Abdallah has established a progressive economic liberalization which favors foreign investment. The special economic areas, such as Qualified Industrial Zone (QIZ) and the Free Zone of Agaba offer very advantageous tax regimes for companies. Also, the government has simplified the registration procedures for foreign companies creating a unique office at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. Finally, the Jordan State has launched a campaign of privatization which has benefited public and private partnerships in several sectors. Among the main measures established by the government, we could cite:
- An income tax exemption during 10 years, variable depending on the place and sector of activity;
- A tax exemption on income generated from the export of goods and services;
- The repatriation of  capital, profits and salaries without charges.

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Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment

Freedom of Establishment
It is guaranteed except in some sectors which are considered to be sensitive such as publishing, publication, aeronautics, architecture or engineering. Some sectors are totally forbidden to foreign companies such as security services and the maintenance of law and order, sports clubs or passenger transport. The US State Department gives a complete list of the limitations.
Acquisition of Holdings
A majority holding interest in the capital of a local company is legal in Jordan, except in certain sectors where foreign interest cannot exceed 49%.
Obligation to Declare
The Agency for the promotion of foreign investment in the country provides information about the necessary authorizations for setting up business.
Competent Organization For the Declaration
The website of the Amman Stock Exchange listing the restrictions on foreign investment.
Jordan's Securities Commission
Requests For Specific Authorizations
There is no obligation to declare in Jordan. However, in some sectors such as commercial activities, engineering, transport services... foreign capital invested in the company may not be more than 50% of the total capital. In other sectors such as freight or postal services, this share is reduced to 49%.

Learn more about Foreign Investment in Jordan on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Investment Opportunities

Investment Aid Agency
Jordan Investment Board
Tenders, Projects and Public Procurement
Ministry of Finance, Public Procurements (in arabic)
Tenders Info, Tenders in Jordan
Globaltenders, Tenders & Projects from Jordan
DgMarket, Tenders Worldwide
Other Useful Resources
Jordan Investment Board website
Website listing the Jordanian free zones
 
 

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Learn more about Investing in Jordan on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Last Updates: October 2014