Foreign Investors: There are challenges.. laws are continuously changing, and there are not enough facilities

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Al-Anbat -

Al-Anbat-Zeina Albarbour  

Translated by: MAYS ALSHAWABKEH 

Investment volume increased by 29% to the end of September. 

Many international businessmen complained to Al-Anbat about the challenges they were having in Jordan, despite the fact that the government had provided them with many facilities under the long-lasting laws it had established.
 
Similar to Ahmed Al-Amili, an Iraqi investor in Jordan, and the owner of a business called "International drip irrigation pipe industry," investment in Jordan faces a number of challenges, chief among them the exodus of investors to other nations due to the ban on their children working in fields unrelated to the father's line of work. Due to this, they decided to send their kids to school outside of Jordan so they could continue working in the future. 
When the son reaches a specific age, he no longer falls under the father's legal control because he no longer resides there. In order to get easier housing and employment opportunities, the investor must move their family to another country.

 This is a common issue for migrants. This represents the exodus of large capital- and demand-generating investors from the nation, which will weaken Jordan's investment and enhance it abroad. 

Al-Amili, on the other hand, asserted that Jordan is a secure, peaceful, and orderly nation that always welcomes foreign investments. The exchange rate is stable, and the Jordanian people are hospitable and open to other cultures. He also noted that investment terms laws frequently improve, as evidenced by the decision to renew residence issued more than ten years ago, which now permits it to be renewed every five years rather than once a year. 

He urged the government to increase support for foreign investment by putting in place easier-to-use procedures that would localize investors and grant them full citizenship benefits, with the exception of the "buy-sell" political vote. 

Al-Anbat received a complaint from a Syrian investor regarding the ongoing changes to the investment regulations, particularly the imposition or rise of order charge noting that this change in laws may benefit investors, for instance, there was no tax in the development zones prior to the government passing a law imposing a 1% tax on raw materials, the long time taken to apply the investment project is more than 3 months compared to the time taken in 2012, i.e. not exceeding 3 days. 

The minimal investment in 2012 was 50,000 dinars. It had now fallen to thirty thousand dinars. One law also allowed foreign investors who met certain requirements—for example, investing more than 1 million dinars over a three-year period and hiring 20 Jordanians—to become citizens of the country. Noting that this law will steadily advance the notion of investor localization. 

The number of investments utilizing the Investment Law has increased, according to a statement from Jordan's Ministry of Investment. It was 29%, or 657 million dinars, from the start of the year until the end of September, as opposed to the same period in 2021, when it was 511 million dinars. 

Total domestic investments made up 83.3% of total investments, totaling JD 547 million, while total overseas investments made up 16.7% of total investments, totaling JD 109.8 million. 

In the same period, the industry sector received 57.8% of all recorded investments, totaling JD 379.6 million, while the tourism sector received 29.8% of total investments, totaling JD 195.5 million, according to the statement. Hospitals and specialized medical facilities came in second place with a value of 39.1 million dinars and a 6% market share. The rest of the sectors and economic activities accounted for 2.8% of total investment, while the agriculture sector accounted for 3.7% of it with a value of 24.2 million dinars. 

The Ministry has attracted 312 investment proposals over the last months. With more than 13,000 jobs, the government has established a series of institutional and regulatory priorities to boost the competitiveness of the national economy and better the business and investment climate in the Kingdom. Through the establishment of the Ministry of Investment as an entity for investment management and welfare, the Kingdom's investment realities have been strengthened. The Ministry of Investment will handle all matters relating to investments and work to attract outside capital. It will also encourage domestic investment and plan projects involving public-private partnerships. 

According to international best practices, and clearly defining investors' rights, privileges, and duties, treating them fairly, equitably, and transparently, the Investment Environment Regulation Act of 2022 defined the legal and regulatory framework for investment in Jordan through the Ministry of Investment. It also developed and streamlined procedures that encourage business and economic activity.
 
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