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Sector-specific development key to increasing competitiveness — economist

By Mohammad Ghazal - Jun 10,2014 - Last updated at Jun 10,2014

AMMAN — Jordan needs to develop focused strategies that target the development of specific sectors such as agriculture and information technology, which will help the country increase its competitiveness and boost exports, a Taiwanese economist and academic said Monday.

The government, in collaboration with the private sector and NGOs, also needs to work to build the capacities of talented human resources, Mignonne Man-jung Chan, adviser at the Chinese Taipei APEC Study Centre, said in an interview with The Jordan Times.

“There are plenty of similarities between Taiwan and Jordan, especially when it comes to lacking local energy resources and having a great pool of talented human resources,” said the Taiwanese academic, who is also the founder and CEO of the Taiwan-based Out-of-the-Box Consultancy.

“Jordan can greatly benefit from this factor,” she added.

The economist, who will participate in the sixth annual West Asia – North Africa (WANA) Forum in Amman this week, said renewable energy is one of the sectors that the Kingdom can be a pioneer in.

“Jordan can greatly benefit from solar energy to boost the green industry for example,” she said.

“They key is to focus on certain sectors of high added value, where Jordanians can be main contributors.”

She stressed the importance of supporting entrepreneurs and small- and medium-sized ventures, which play a key role in boosting the economy.

Supporting entrepreneurs through specialised training and funding is also crucial to enable them to start income-generating businesses and create jobs, the economist said.

“Jordan is signatory to several free trade agreements that give businesses access to several markets across the globe and this is a great advantage for businesses here,” she added.

During the two-day WANA Forum, which starts Wednesday, HRH Prince Hassan, chairman of the WANA Forum, will deliver the keynote address on how legal empowerment can be used as an effective tool for conflict resistance, and for transforming the lives of the poor and most marginalised segments of the population, according to a statement sent to The Jordan Times.

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