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Investment in industrial sector ‘backbone of national economy’ — Saqqaf

By JT - Jan 31,2023 - Last updated at Jan 31,2023

Investment Minister Kholoud Saqqaf speaks during meeting with the president of the Jordan and Amman chambers of industry on Tuesday (Photo courtesy of Investment Ministry)

AMMAN — Investment in the industrial sector is the “backbone of the national economy”, Investment Minister Kholoud Saqqaf said on Tuesday.

She noted that industrial investments diversify exports, reduce imports and increase the value of exports for domestic development.

The minister’s remarks came during a meeting with the president of the Jordan and Amman chambers of industry, which featured representatives of other chambers of industry along with investors.

Saqqaf said that the industrial sector accounted for the “lion’s share” of investment, according to a ministry statement.

In this regard, she cited a report by the ministry showing that the sector's investment volume benefiting from the 2022 Investment Law totalled JD648.6 million, or 58.3 per cent of the total registered investments.

Due to the importance of investment and its role in the development and revitalisation of the national economy, several economic reforms were undertaken, the minister said.

Saqqaf added that the Investment Environment Law of 2022 was endorsed in order to provide a supportive environment for existing investments as well as to attract further investments. 

She noted that the Investment Environment Law and its bylaw have many attractive benefits for investors, adding that the concerned official institutions are obliged to complete transactions related to the comprehensive investment service within a period not exceeding 15 working days from the date of receiving a complete application.

The minister added that if the concerned authority does not respond before the end of the 15-day time frame, the transaction shall be consideredautomatically approved. 

As for the employment of non-Jordanians, Saqqafsaid that under the bylaw, an investor is entitled to employ non-Jordanian workers at a rate not exceeding 25 per cent of the total number of employees in administrative and technical jobs requiring specialised skills. 

If Jordanian workers are not eligible to work in administrative and technical jobs requiring specialised skills, the investor has the right to raise the ratio to no more than 40 per cent of the total number of employees, Saqqaf said.

President of the Jordan and Amman chambers of industry Fathi Jaghbir noted that the industrial sector has proven its pivotal and strategic role in the national economy by contributing to more than 45 per cent of the GDP, both directly and indirectly.

Jaghbir added that the sector accounts for more than 94 per cent of the total national exports, and provides jobs for over 268,000 Jordanian workers.

He said that the average employment created by industrial enterprises for 2022 was around 53 per enterprise, while the rate in other sectors was only 43 jobs per project.

Jaghbir said that the Economic Modernisation Vision (EMV) has paid great attention to the industrial sector by attracting some JD11.5 billion in investments in high-value industries. 

He added that the EMV considered the sector one of the main arms for creating one million jobs by the end of 2033. The industrial sector's share stands at creating 314,000 jobs.

During the meeting, investors reviewed challengesand proposals related to the development of the investment environment in the industrial sector and suggested solutions to these obstacles.

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