New investment law in the making to be announced in second quarter 2022

Khairy Amr
Minister of Investment Khairy Amr. (Photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — Minister of Investment Khairy Amr stated during the second session of the national economic workshop, titled "Moving towards the future: Unlocking the possibilities to modernize the economy," that work is underway to study amendments to the investment law, which may be announced in the second quarter of this year.اضافة اعلان

Amr told the workshop that the amended law will follow best practices and international standards in cutting red-tape, highlighting the sector's key role in Jordan's economic development;

The minister pointed out a smart and interactive investment project that provides details for investors, as well as a promotional plan, stressing commitment to resolving challenges facing the investment process, and making investors’ voices heard to come up with solutions that prop up the investment process.

The ministry spokesperson Bilal Abu Zaid told Jordan News that the process aims to define Jordan's new investment reality, set priorities in collaboration with the private sector, create more job opportunities, improve production efficiency, and boost economic growth.

Abu Zaid emphasized that the deadline for revealing the revised law is merely a goal that the ministry aspires to fulfill, and that work on the law is being done in collaboration between the public and private sectors.

“The revised law will be compatible with other investment laws in the global market, and will contribute to attracting new investments to Jordan, as well as enabling existing ones,” said Abu Zaid.

According to Abu Zaid, the law will go through several stages before it is announced; the first of which is to take stock of the private sector's views to grasp the potential impact of these amendments as well as to come up with long term solutions, after which it goes through constitutional stages.

"The investor needs to see consistent and lasting rules and regulations to be able to develop an investment plan and make decisions confidently,” said Abu Zaid, adding that "this is what the ministry is pursuing."

Economic analyst Mazen Irsheid said that the investment sector should not rely solely on legislative changes, since numerous past revisions were made but no obvious gains have manifested. He believes that the main opponent of foreign investment is bureaucracy, referring to investors’ complaints of lengthy procedures and hindrances.  

Irsheid emphasized that some of the elements that attract investors include lower energy bills, tax exemption, custom duties exemptions, eased paperwork and simplified permits. "These measures are not only beneficial to investors, but also a means of advancing the economy and reducing unemployment in Jordan,” he stated.

"The COVID-19 pandemic and the current war in Ukraine should serve as huge lessons from which we learn that the only way to resurrect the economy is to attract substantial international investments," the minister had said in his address at the workshop.

Economist Zyan Zawaneh questioned why Jordan was able to attract investments in the 1960s and 1970s without the need for ‘a so called investment law!” He said that the issue was never a need for regulations and laws, but rather proper implementation of laws and the ability to attract international projects.  “A poor executive tool can kill a law, no matter how robust it is.”

Zawaneh stressed the need for legislative stability as a key element in the process of regulating the economy and attracting investment, noting that frequent changes in the law have discouraged investors from doing business in Jordan.

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