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Jordanian PM: Foreign investments on rise after regional unrest - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Jordanian prime minister Abdullah Ensour (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Jordanian prime minister Abdullah Ensour (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Amman, Asharq Al-Awsat—Political turmoil in the Arab world has made Jordan a destination for foreign investment amid government efforts to invigorate the economy, according to Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour.

In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Ensour said that in 2013 investment grew “remarkably” in Jordan in various sectors, mainly industry, hotels and hospitals.

Foreign direct investment increased by 1.1 billion dinars (1.5 billion US dollars), hitting around 18.7 billion dinars by the end of 2013, he said.

“This is in line with the government plan to achieve a 10 percent growth rate in foreign direct investment annually until 2016,” Ensour added.

This growth has come as a result of the political and economic situation in the region as well as recent economic reforms adopted by the Kingdom, according to the prime minister.

“This has made Jordan, praise be to God, an oasis of security and stability and a safe haven for investment,” Ensour said.

Syrian investments are on the rise in Jordan, and peaked in 2013 and early 2014, he said, adding that this positive growth had, however, left Jordan with “heavy burdens,” given the increase in the number of Syrian refugees.

He expected foreign investments to continue to grow during the next period, thanks to “serious government efforts to provide an attractive investment environment.”

A new investment bill to encourage investment is currently being debated in the Jordanian parliament.

Part of the economic reform program, the law is designed to improve the legal regulation of the investment climate in the Kingdom and boost incentives to investors, Ensour told Asharq Al-Awsat.

The prime minister added that the new draft law would be a comprehensive one to end “duality of legislation” and “cut government red tape.”

“This will certainly streamline and accelerate the procedures related to the investment process,” he added.

As well as attracting investment from abroad, Ensour said his government was working to develop the tourism sector, which he described as “an essential source of national income.”