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PM calls for better ‘attitude’ in dealing with investors

By JT - Aug 03,2015 - Last updated at Aug 03,2015

AMMAN — Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour on Monday called for “a quantum leap” to stimulate and attract local and foreign investments, ease licensing and other procedures, and cut red tape. 

Ensour made his remarks during a meeting he headed at the Jordan Investment Commission (JIC), attended by the ministerial economic development committee and stakeholders representing ministries and institutions concerned with investment.

The prime minster said that while His Majesty King Abdullah travels around the world to attract investments that significantly contribute to sustainable development and the government is working on updating legislation, "investors still face many bureaucratic obstacles".

The premier said the meeting was held to take solid measures to encourage investments and facilitate doing business in Jordan, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

A source told The Jordan Times that Ensour went over each file with the officials to identify and address the obstacles facing projects filed with the commission. 

Ensour called for “breathing new life into public administration at all levels… to render Jordan an advanced country free of corruption and crippling red tape”.

“Investment is too important” to be left to inefficient officials, Ensour said, highlighting that the Kingdom has all the necessary elements to attract successful investments, and stressing that the law should not be applied selectively.

The prime minister called on representatives of official agencies to reconsider their attitude in receiving investors and processing their requests, saying: “It is counterproductive to look at any investor as someone who is here to rob the country,” noting the government has amended the civil service’s by-law to ensure that employees do their job efficiently. Civil servants risk punishment if they fail to respect and aptly serve people who come to do business. 

Ensour instructed the JIC to issue a guidebook that educates investors on all procedures and requirements throughout the entire process in every ministry or agency concerned with investment.

Ensour noted the investment council will soon add energy to the sectors served by the commission, while a representative of the Energy Ministry will join the JIC to process investors’ applications related to the energy field.

The meeting discussed major obstacles facing the work of the “investment window”, a one-stop shop to serve investors, and the procedures that must be taken to activate its role.

 

JIC President Montaser Oqlah said the most formidable problem facing the investment window is that the representatives do not have sufficient powers to take decisions and license applicants.

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