AMMAN — Jordan’s IT exports rose to $230.5 million in 2011 witnessing a 14 per cent rise over the previous year, according to a survey released on Monday.
The survey, conducted by the ICT Association of Jordan (int@j) and the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology, indicated that Jordan’s IT exports reached $202.2 million in 2010, $209.5 million in 2009 and $226 million in 2008.
Of the overall 2011 IT exports, 39.4 per cent went to Saudi Arabia, 9.5 per cent to the US, 8.5 per cent to the UAE, 6.3 per cent to Iraq, 4 per cent to Qatar and 3.9 per cent to Oman.
The figures also showed that 3.2 per cent of last year’s IT exports went to the Netherlands, 2.6 per cent to Palestine and 2.4 per cent to the UK.
According to the study, Jordan’s overall IT sector revenues, including exports and domestic revenues, exceeded $738 million in 2011, rising by 1 per cent compared with 2010.
“These numbers reflect the strength and ability of Jordanian companies to export despite the overall global and regional economic downturn,” read the study e-mailed to The Jordan Times on Monday.
Commenting on the survey, Abed Shamlawi, CEO of int@j, said the rise in IT exports was mainly driven by exporting more to Saudi Arabia in 2011.
“Jordanian IT companies focused heavily on exporting IT services and solutions in 2011 to make up for the drop in IT revenues generated from the local market. The majority of the increase in exports last year was to Saudi Arabia,” he told The Jordan Times on Monday.
“Revenues that IT companies generated locally dropped in 2011 because of less government spending on the IT sector coupled with less spending on IT services by sectors of education, banking and telecom operators,” he said.
Shamlawi said he expects the IT sector’s revenues to witness a drop in 2012 based on the current regional conditions.
“There is instability in markets such as Oman, Bahrain, Egypt and Syria. Although Jordan’s IT exports to these countries are individually small, the volume of exports together is good. Exports to these countries have dropped in 2012; therefore, I expect less revenues for the sector next year,” said Shamlawi.
The study indicated that the telecommunications sector’s revenues for 2011 exceeded $1.67 billion, compared with $1.61 billion in 2010 and $1.501 billion in 2009.
According to the study, Jordan’s overall ICT sector revenues in 2011 reached $2.4 billion compared with $2.35 billion in 2010.
In a statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times, int@j Chairman Mohammad Tahboub said the study identifies the true size of the sector and its players.
Minister of Information and Communications Technology Atef Tal said the study provides the relevant statistical information that is essential for preparing sound policies and future plans for the ICT sector to develop the national economy.
According to the survey, employment in IT and IT-enabled services reached approximately 11,235 in direct jobs, while employment in the telecom sector reached 4,600 jobs in 2011.
The study indicated that 98 per cent of workers in the ICT sector are Jordanians, while 27 per cent of employees in the sector are women.