Investment law should consider high production costs

(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — A draft investment law recently released by the government should take into consideration the high production costs to keep pace with international legislation and attract a flow of foreign capital into the Kingdom, experts contended.اضافة اعلان

Jordanian businessmen have long argued that production costs are high, higher than other countries in the region, because of the high energy bill, raw material, and high taxes levied by the government.

Fathi Al-Jaghbir, the head of the Jordan and Amman Chambers of Industry, said that attracting investment will not take place “if production costs are not addressed properly”.

He explained that “the draft law in its current proposed form does not provide anything substantial on the production costs, and it might be much better if the observations submitted by the chambers of industry were taken into account.”

“What I received verbally is that more than 60–70 percent of the comments of the chambers of industry were taken into consideration, and this is a precedent that we got the chance to be consulted before the draft law goes to Parliament,” he told Jordan News.

Jaghbir said there was another opportunity to discuss the draft law, when it goes to parliament.

“It is necessary to discuss the draft law after we see the amended version of it since discussing the old version will not be useful,” he said.

Musa Al-Saket, an industry and investment specialist, said that the law should focus on the reduction of high production costs.

He stressed that the new investment law should be modern and that it should keep pace with the changed times, and the need to attract investors. He said that the previous laws were “bureaucratic and hampering investment”.

Saket pointed out that the Investment Commission, which has been transformed now into the Ministry of Investment, “does not have powers”.

“Its role is limited to being a mediator and facilitator” between the various government ministries, he said.

He insisted on the importance of attracting investment through a modern law that achieves the vision of the 10-year Economic Modernization Vision, launched on June 7, and constitutes a roadmap across the government. It calls, among other things, for modernizing laws to attract investments.

Tarek Hijazi, the managing director of the Jordanian Businessmen Association (JBA), said that “production costs, including energy costs, tax changes, return on investment costs are still very high and are not clear in the draft law”.

“They are too high and fluctuating, and as a result, many investors left Jordan in the past,” he pointed out.

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