Jordan experienced a positive change in its economy in 2013, despite an always difficult domestic and regional context. The country recorded FDI inflows amounting to €1.4 billion, an increase of 16% compared to 2012 (UNCTAD). The violent conflicts in the region very likely put some investors off, but they also encourage firms from affected countries to deploy their activities in those neighbouring countries which are enjoying a more robust political context: Syria and Iraq were therefore the two biggest FDI providers in the country in 2013, followed by the United States.
Jordan is continuing to implement its refom programme: the eagerly awaited investment act was finally adopted in October 2014, while a law on public-private partnerships is still the subject of discussion. The country plans to launch several PPP projects, including a treatment centre for industrial and medical waste, rail transport development, the expansion of the country's only refinery and the construction of desalination plants.
Although Jordan imports 98% of its energy, another vast area of opportunity will appear with the future energy and mineral resources act, which will open up the hydrocarbons sector to domestic and foreign investors, and will complement the renewable energy and energy efficiency act, adopted in 2012. This ambitious infrastructure development strategy (water, transport and energy - including nuclear) aims to strengthen the attractiveness of the country by making it a regional logistics hub, particularly in matters of electrical and transport networks.
The adoption in 2013 of the restructuring act, and in October 2014, of the new investment law, introduced several simplification measures, around the creation of the Jordan Investment Commission (JIC). The latter brings together the Jordan Investment Board (JIB), the Development Zones Commission (DZC) and the export promotion services of the Jordan Enterprise Development Corporation (JEDCO). The JIC, which prepares a national investment strategy 2015-2017, will be responsible for facilitating the administrative approaches of businesses. A committee aimed at improving Jordan's ranking in international reports on the country's competitiveness has also been set up.
Jordan, which benefited from a review of its investment policy by the OECD in 2013, also officially signed up to the OECD Declaration on International Investment and Multinational Enterprises in November 2013, marking its determination to continue its efforts to improve protection for investors and promote responsible business conduct.
Another initiative in the framework of international cooperation, the Jordan Competitiveness Programme (JCP), launched in November 2013 with the support of USAID, aims to attract additional flows of FDI of $700 million and to create 40,000 jobs over the next 5 years. It targets in a priority way three pillars of the knowledge economy: ICT, clean technologies and the health and life sciences sector. Another investment support programme, funded in the framework of the Deauville Partnership, was implemented by the IFC and the OECD for the period 2014-2017.