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Gov’t tailors new incentives to revitalise ICT sector

By Mohammad Ghazal - Apr 07,2016 - Last updated at Apr 07,2016

AMMAN — The government on Wednesday endorsed a set of incentives to boost growth in the ICT sector, which contributes some 12 per cent to the country's income.

Under the decision, services related to software development, mobile apps, website portals, outsourcing, digital content and electronic games, information technology training and e-learning will be exempted from sales tax and customs duties. 

Goods and services necessary for ICT services will also be subject to a zero sales tax rate. Income tax rates on such services will be reduced to 4 per cent. 

"These incentives will help trigger growth in the ICT sector and help turn Jordan into an ICT hub," Minister of Information and Communications Technology Majd Shweikeh said in a statement to The Jordan Times on Wednesday.

The move, the minister said, came after thorough studies and discussions with stakeholders and the private sector.

“These incentives will help reduce costs and enable the attraction of investors into the sector, which will help in jobs generation,” the minister added.

The ICT sector’s revenues dropped by 14 per cent in 2014 compared to 2013, down to JD546 million, according to figures by the ICT Association of Jordan ([email protected]).

The decline was attributed to several local and external factors including lack of incentives in previous years to boost the sector.

In October 2015, the government announced plans for launching a strategy that would function as a roadmap to make Jordan a regional ICT hub in 2016.

The strategy, which is reinitiating the REACH initiative that Jordan first launched in 1999, will detail action plans, projects and measures required to “genuinely turn the Kingdom into an ICT hub in the region”.

The 2016-2025 REACH initiative will work on finding practical solutions to challenges facing the sector. 

 

The strategy focusses on the development of human resources, facilitating access to finance and enhancing infrastructure to create jobs. 

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