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Investment inflows recovering to ‘pre-crisis levels’

By Omar Obeidat - Jan 13,2014 - Last updated at Jan 13,2014

AMMAN – Jordan’s investment inflows rose by 19.5 per cent in 2013 “reflecting investors’ confidence in the Kingdom’s economy and business environment”, a senior government official said Monday.

Jordan Investment Board (JIB) acting Chief Executive Officer Awni Rushoud said that the volume of projects applied to benefit from the Investment Promotion Law reached JD1.92 billion (around $2.7 billion) last year compared to JD1.61 billion ($2.2 billion) in 2012.

“Investor confidence in Jordan is increasing as capital inflows are recovering strongly to pre-crisis levels,” Rushoud told The Jordan Times over the phone, referring to investment volumes the Kingdom used to attract before the global financial crisis of 2008.

He indicated foreign investments represented 59 per cent of the overall projects applied to benefit from incentives, reaching JD1.13 billion, while investment by Jordanians amounted to JD797 million.

The industrial sector attracted 58 per cent of the investments, or JD1.1 billion. However, the JIB figures showed that capital inflows into the sector went down by nearly 20 per cent last year from JD1.39 billion in 2012.

Recreational and entertainment facilities came second in terms of largest investment inflows with JD527 billion, recording a sharp increase as in 2012 the value of projects in the sector stood at only JD25 million.

Investments in hotels increased from JD54 million in 2012 to JD142 million last year, the JIB chief said.

Rushoud described the projects whose owners applied to benefit from the incentives last year as added-value projects as they are expected to create 22,000 job opportunities once implemented within three years.

He noted that the JIB was able to achieve 96 per cent of the investment target for 2013, which was put at JD2 billion.

He attributed the increasing volume of investments to the fact that Jordan remained an “oasis of stability in a troubled region”.

He also highlighted the role of investment-related legislation and the business environment in the Kingdom in attracting investors.

Regarding 2014 outlook, Rushoud said that the new investment law, currently at the Lower House, will contribute to further inflow of investments, adding that JIB is also working on upgrading the investment map in Jordan.

The board will also launch promotional campaigns in several countries that would feature success stories of investors who picked the Kingdom as home for their projects. The official pointed out the JIB has formed a special committee to enhance the competitiveness ranking of Jordan in international business reports. This ranking has seen a downtrend over the past two years. 

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