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‘Timely action’ key for economic reforms — OECD

By Batool Ghaith - Jun 22,2022 - Last updated at Jun 22,2022

Speakers during a panel discussion titled ‘Set Reforms in Motion’ on Wednesday (Photo courtesy of Investment Ministry)

AMMAN — During a panel discussion titled “Set Reforms in Motion” on Wednesday, experts and officials emphasised the need for foreign direct investment (FDI) in order to achieve the goals of the Economic Modernisation Vision.

The discussion was held during the launch of the “FDI Qualities Review of Jordan: Strengthening Sustained Investment” report, which was written jointly by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the government of Jordan and is in line with the newly launched Economic Modernisation Vision, according to Metri Mdanat, secretary general of the Economic and Social Council.

The panel was organised jointly by the Ministry of Investment, the EU and the Jordan Strategy Forum, within the framework of the EU-OECD Programme on Investment in the Mediterranean.

“Timely action is needed as Jordan embarks on ambitious reforms to reignite private investment,” an OECD statement said. The FDI Qualities Review of Jordan aims to support these efforts to leverage FDI to finance the Sustainable Developments Goals and optimise the strength and quality of the recovery, according to the statement. 

“It is necessary to build on the previous reforms and achievements and to focus on the participatory work that the previous strategies lacked,” Mdanat said during the panel discussion.

Mdanat noted that it is important to focus on the quality of foreign investment, which would create job opportunities, greater productivity and knowledge.

Omar Fanek, director and reform secretariat at the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, said that it is important to empower women economically to achieve gender equality through FDI, which still needs “more work and effort”.

According to Fanek, the new investment law emphasises equality between the foreign and the local investors, in addition to the general policy and investment plan, as well as a reconstitution of the investment board to better represent the private sector.

Zaher Al Qatarneh, secretary general at the Ministry of Investment, said that the ministry found that there is a need to amend the legal legislation to empower investment and the ministry itself.

Qatarneh recommended integrating governmental agencies with regard to investment and the need for a national investment strategy, which is currently being worked on. He added that the national investment strategy should also include a promotion strategy for the ministry and investment and targeting mechanisms for investors.

“It is important to work on and build trust between the public and private sectors, as well as between investors and the investment environment,” Chairperson of Al Hurra for Management and Business Development Reem Badran said.

Badran recommended establishing an “investment requirements model” for the investor and also to establish key performance indicators to expand the volume of investments in the Kingdom.

The objective of the event was to initiate a policy dialogue on the main recommendations and reform priorities the report highlighted.

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