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Economists welcome establishment of Investment Ministry

By Rana Husseini - Oct 11,2021 - Last updated at Oct 11,2021

AMMAN — Economists on Monday welcomed the establishment of the Ministry of Investment in the latest government reshuffle that was approved by His Majesty King Abdullah.

On Monday, a Royal Decree was issued approving a reshuffle of Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Bisher Al Khasawneh’s Cabinet, which included nine new ministers. 

Khairy Amr was assigned to head the newly established Ministry of Investment.

Director of the Phenix Centre for Economic Studies Ahmad Awad said that the creation of a Ministry of Investment is a good step and indicates an increase in the government's interest in expanding investment in Jordan.

"The fundamental question in this path is what the ministry will offer in addition to the existing Jordan Investment Commission (JIC),” Awad told The Jordan Times.

He added that the new ministry "is also required to remove all bureaucratic obstacles that have prevented and continue to prevent the expansion of investments in Jordan”. 

It is also required to provide incentives and facilities to investors, Awad added.

Economist Wajdi Makhamreh agreed with Awad saying that the main investment challenges for Jordan include creating a competitive market in the region.

For the past five years, he added, the head of the JIC was constantly changed and there was “no consistency” in the entity’s work.

“We need to have a unified and consistent method to ensure practical and useful procedures that would attract investors to Jordan and the way the JIC was operating was, in fact, pushing investors away,” Makhamreh told The Jordan Times.

Makhamreh added: “We hope that the new minister will be able to create a consistent method to attract investors to come to Jordan so that we can compete with neighbouring countries”.

Economist Musa Saket recently called for the establishment of a Ministry of Investment.

Nevertheless, Saket said the establishment of this ministry is very important and the work should be focused now on changing laws that stand in the path of investors”.

“A conscious approach is also important among all ministries to adopt a unified strategy to encourage investments in Jordan,” Saket said.

During a visit to the Abdali project in September, His Majesty King Abdullah met with a number of Jordanian and Arab investors in the health, tourism, banking and trade sectors where he highlighted the need to capitalise on the success of the Abdali.

The King stressed the importance of promoting various local and foreign investments to create further employment opportunities.

The meeting also covered Jordan’s investment advantages and the importance of maintaining outreach to overcome obstacles, with investors presenting plans to increase their investments in health, education and other sectors.

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