A step in the right direction, but …

Salameh daraawi
Salameh Darawi (Photo: Jordan News)
The Prime Minister took an important preliminary step towards developing the Kingdom’s business and investment environment when he formed a steering committee — comprising six technical subcommittees — to facilitate this development process and increase the environment’s appeal.اضافة اعلان

Although somewhat late, the step is very important for the economy, and is closely tied to the private sector, particularly issues of licensing, investment, inspection, product costs, bureaucracy, export, and the processes that fall under each of these aspects.

An increasing involvement in the private sector’s problems will aid the national economy, seeing as the private sector is the cornerstone of economic growth.

The government could not have made any progress in its march for development without the private sector, because it cannot afford to recruit now, at a time when the public sector has more than twice its need of manpower. Therefore, the government’s only option is to resort to the private sector, which is in need of the following:

First: To sustain its productivity and work without setbacks, and to maintain real and existing investments by resolving its pending issues with various state institutions.

Second: Incentives to allow for the expansion of its economic activities, so that it can offer more jobs to Jordan’s youth, 50 percent of whom are unemployed.

But despite the importance of the prime minister’s decision, it still lacks a key element, which is the private sector’s engagement in the work of the aforementioned subcommittees. With exception to the primary steering committee, which is headed by the prime minister and comprises the membership of the presidents of the Jordan chambers of industry and commerce, the private sector has no representation on any of the committees.
It makes no sense for government officials to convene and discuss matters of the private sector in its absence.

The one-stop shop for licensing and facilitation of commercial activities targets the private sector, not government employees, and yet, the private sector has no representation on that platform.

The lack of private sector representation at a number of government committees deprives the latter of practical expertise that they simply do not possess. If we were to assume that the government’s people were aware of the private sector’s problems, then they should be expected to solve, not complicate them.

Utilizing the private sector’s expertise and keeping a close eye on its day-to-day problems with government institutions will allow committee officials to reach mutual understandings that serve the development process, which requires genuine cooperation between the public and private sectors, as opposed to strictly governmental committees where ministers and their secretaries meet behind closed doors.

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