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Pharmaceutical industry, ICT can boost Jordan's economic growth

By Omar Obeidat - Dec 18,2014 - Last updated at Dec 18,2014

AMMAN – Jordan's pharmaceutical industry has potential to grow further due to its capability to manufacture new products and market them globally, according to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). 

Hanan Morsy, EBRD's lead economist for the SEMED region (Jordan, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia), told The Jordan Times in a recent interview in Amman that a new study by the London-based bank found that the Kingdom's pharmaceutical sector has the capability to produce drugs and market them in international markets three times more than the rest of the 30 countries it covered in a report.

Morsy was in Amman along with other EBRD officials to launch the bank's annual Transition Report. This year's publication was entitled "Innovation in Transition". 

The private sector in Jordan, particularly the pharmaceutical and ICT, has the competence to help Jordan's economy achieve higher growth rates by adopting innovation and improving production capacities, she said. However, she noted that only 8 per cent of firms in Jordan can launch new products, compared to 11 per cent in remaining countries included in the report.

Obstacles hindering innovation, not only in Jordan but elsewhere, she added, are mainly related to uneasy access to finance, corruption and limited labour skills.

Access to finance for small- and medium-sized firms is a global issue, but in Jordan the budget deficit and the government's borrowing from local banks made it compete with the private sector, which negatively affected companies in obtain financing they need.

According the Morsy, the Transition Report 2014 includes detailed information on how firms innovate by introducing new products, new production processes, new ways of organising themselves and fresh approaches to marketing their products and services. 

The report also takes stock of firms’ investments in research and development, and provides new insights into how managerial practices influence a firm’s productivity.

A key idea put forward in this report is that, regardless of a country’s level of economic development or its progress along the transition path, individual firms can make a difference.

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