Jordan a rather special country in which to live and work

With its liberalized and friendly regulatory environment, many foreign companies planning to expand their reach into the Middle East see Jordan as a place they can do business in. Thousands of companies from all around the globe already operate out of this small kingdom state, and with its economy managing to maintain meaningful growth in difficult times, very many more are set to follow them.

Of course, all of that interest adds up to yet further opportunity for the thousands of expatriates who’ve already moved to the country to live, work and pursue both a career and enhanced lifestyle. And because of Jordan’s positive business climate, they can expect lots more to join them, particularly expatriates from Europe and the United States.

As well as attracting expatriates from every corner of the globe, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan – as this proud country of around six million people is officially called – also pulls in millions of tourists every year, armed to the teeth with all manner of credit cards and cash which they’re determined to spend, a tribute to the multitude of exciting sights and sounds which makes this part of the world a rather special place to visit.

Yes, no tourist, or expatriate for that matter, will ever leave disappointed. From the well-preserved must-see Roman town of Jerash, with its colonnaded streets, temples, theatres, public squares, baths and city walls, to the iconic Dead Sea and its five star luxury hotels and wonderful spas, Jordan has everything for both visitor and expatriate alike.

US relations

Diplomatic relations between Jordan and the US go back more than 60 years, and over this time, says the Jordanian embassy in Washington, D.C., the country has received in the region of $13 billion in aid.

The Jordanian embassy says, “This has helped Jordan build its institutions, develop its infrastructure and be a source of moderation and stability in the Middle East. USAID and other programs such as the Millennium Challenge Account have brought significant contributions to economic developments in Jordan.”

Growing economy

According to the latest figures, Jordan’s economy grew by 3% in 2012 and is expected to improve on that figure in 2013. Despite regional turmoil, Jordan’s innovation-driven problem solving approach shows the country is open for business and serious about economic reforms.

The embassy says, “Jordan has a free market-driven economy, with outward-oriented economic policies and an approach led by the private sector. It is a service-oriented economy, where the services sector constitutes 67.6% of the total GDP. Manufacturing constitutes 19.2% of the GDP. Jordan’s main manufacturing exports include garments and textiles, pharmaceutical products, jewellery, electrical appliances, machinery and equipment, furniture, chemicals, minerals and plastic products.”

Ongoing privatization of major state-owned enterprises continues apace, says the embassy, with the privatization program considered to be the most successful in the Middle East.

The embassy adds, “To date, it has involved the privatization of 33% of Jordan Cement Factories, a grant of four bus concessions by the Public Transportation Corporation, the sale of 49% of the Jordan Telecommunications Corporation, project contracts for the Water Authority of Jordan, concessions for the Aqaba railway, and the divestiture of government shares at approximately $900 million.

“Jordan’s sound leadership, solid infrastructure and qualified workforce, merged with its fixed exchange rate and strong monetary policy will continue to assure investors that Jordan will remain a competitive investment destination, where the economy thrives and reacts positively, with agility, to external factors.”

For more on the economy, go to the Jordanian embassy website, here.