Jordan Vision 2020 – Phase II

 Full Report - PDF File  النسخة العربية

Executive Summary

· While Jordan’s growth has improved significantly from 2000-2006, it has averaged only 0.3% per person each year since 1980. This level is not considered high enough to improve the quality of life for the country’s population

· In order to achieve Jordan Vision’s (JV) goal, Jordan needs to maintain average real GDP per capita growth of at least 3.5% every year for the next 20 years. This level of growth increases employment and raises households out of poverty

· Key JV recommendations require Jordan to radically transform its economy instead of continuing with incremental reform, applying a cluster approach to planning, attracting more FDI to supplement domestic sources of income, and creating a real partnerships between public and private sectors

Key Findings

Lessons Learned from Phase I

· While the Government was acting on JV recommendations to improve the business environment, the private sector was not responding with similar efforts. Specifically, the private sector did not have a road map for progress, and few consultative mechanisms existed within the private sector and with the government

· Overall 47% of JV targets have been implemented and 37% were in progress at the time of writing, while 16% of targets were never implemented by 2005. Targets related to dynamic project leadership and access to markets had the highest levels of completion, while targets to instill international competitiveness had the lowest level


Sector Findings: Apparel and Textile Manufacturing

· Exports in this sector have risen dramatically, from USD 50 million (1990s) to USD 1 billion (2004), and exports are expected to rise to over USD 1.26 billion by 2005. The large rise is mainly due to Qualifying Industrial Zone (QIZ) agreements

· Jordan’s textile producers are vulnerable to global trends that can undermine their competitive advantages. A key example is the erosion of Jordan’s access to the EU and US markets due to new trade agreements between the US and EU Jordan can expand and differentiate its operations by integrating value-added functions, such as design, packaging, and marketing


Sector Findings:Architecture and Engineering (A&E)

· Output of the A&E sector reached 1% of GDP, employment growth was 10.4% in 2004, the number of enterprises in the sector grew by 3.7%, and investment grew by 46.5%

· The sector remains underdeveloped, and can produce at least twice its current output. Current inhibiting factors include inadequate training, poor access to finance, high tax burdens, and the previous inability to take advantage of economies of scale as many firms are small and not able to keep up with market requirements and quality expectations


Sector Findings: Higher Education Services

· Higher education can be a strategic sector for Jordan because it contributes to the balance of payments and foreign exchange reserves, and it decreases the reliance of public universities on government funding

· The number of international students attending Jordan universities has risen approximately 9% each year from 1993-2003. A total of 20,000 students spend an average of USD 13,000 per year on university fees and approximately USD 500-1,000 per month for living expenses. Total international student expenditures are expected at JOD 183 million per year

· Educational tourism supports traditional tourism, as students often receive family visits


Sector Findings: Fruit and Vegetables

· Jordan’s agriculture sector is a form of rural development, which reduces migration from rural areas, involves women in income-generating activities, and can increase the country’s self-reliance in food by decreasing the agricultural trade deficit

· Agriculture’s contribution to GDP and employment has dramatically decreased since the 1970s. Contribution to GDP stood at 3.6% in 2000, down from 14% in 1971. Employment stood at 6% in the 1990s, down from 33% in the 1960s

· Reasons for the sector’s weak performance include the lack of training in farm management, ineffective agricultural research, weak R&D, and the inability of agricultural cooperatives and organizations to mitigate farmers’ challenges. Outdated laws, a lack of financing, a weak marketing infrastructure, inefficient water use and the cultivation of low-value, high-water consumption cropsalso limit the sector’s performance


Sector Findings: ICT

· ICT is an enabler of virtually every other sector of the economy

· Education and infrastructure investment in the sector is weak. The sector also needs a strong, independent regulator that can eliminate monopolistic barriers. Professional organizations such as Int@j are also needed to promote best practice development


Sector Findings: Medical Services

· Medical services are a significant source of foreign income exchange for Jordan, as foreign patients spend an average of USD 5,500 per stay. Most patients come from Yemen and Libya

· The number of medical tourism patients was 29,000 in 2002, up from 21,000 in 1998. At the same time, there was an 11.5% increase in the number of available beds and a slight drop in occupancy rates at private hospitals. These contradicting statistics indicate a mismatch in supply and demand due to the lack of a clear strategy

· The medical tourism industry is not performing at its full potential because of weak coordination between public and private medical facilities, and the absence of a strategy to promote Jordan as a premier medical center


Sector Findings: Pharmaceuticals

· Jordanian pharmaceutical companies export to more than 60 markets. Exports reached USD 225 million in 2004, four times the export levels of 1991

· The pharmaceutical sector in Jordan faces increasing competition

o Chinese and Indian companies are able to sell medicines at lower costs

o Indigenous pharmaceutical industries are being developed in current export markets

o The elimination of loopholes in Europe that allowed Jordan to flood the market with drugs whose patents have just expired


Sector Findings: Processed Food Manufacturing

· The processed food manufacturing sector’s output has grown at very high levels, reaching JOD 820 million and 3.4% of GDP in 2004. Employment also grew to 29,000 jobs, accounting to 21% of total manufacturing employment

· A key limitation of the sector is that it has low levels of value-added input


Sector Findings: Stone and Marble Mining and Manufacturing

· Jordan has a strong supply of raw materials from natural stone in the country, especially in Ajloun

· Jordanian mining law is outdated and in need of revision. Additional challenges include human resources without international marketing and mechanical operations qualifications, and competitive threats from other countries


Sector Findings: Tourism

· Tourism is a strong economic driver for Jordan that generates income from foreign exchange, contributes to domestic economic development, and helps distribute income across society

· Current geopolitical security issues are the largest challenges facing the tourism sector indicating a need for a change in public investment policy and in marketing Jordan as a destination


Shared Concerns

The report also outlines in detail factors that negatively affected the competitiveness and economic vitality of the Jordanian economy, and outlines a core strategy and guiding principles to overcome these concerns. While this summary provides high level descriptions, a thorough discussion of the concerns and proposed recommendations can be found in the report.

· Poor climate for encouraging both foreign and domestic investment

· Inadequate legislative framework

· Weak public-private partnership

· Underdeveloped transport and logistics services

· Public sector inefficiency

· Lack of credible inspections of enterprises

· Uncoordinated efforts for human resources development

· Weak marketing skills

· Dependency on imported packaging

Recommended Actions and Initiatives

For each of the ten sectors, the report contains a detailed list of actions to implementacross the different focus areas including laws and regulations, human resources, marketing, operations and products. It also identifies the appropriate vehicle—private sector, public sector, or public-private partnership—to carry out these actions. This summary provides a highlight of the key actions across the different areas while the remaining recommendations and actions to implement can be found in the source document.


Apparel and Textiles Manufacturing

· Review and amend the legal and regulatory framework to minimize trade restrictions

· Increase worker productivity through training to enhance technical skills and knowledge of the international trading regime

· Identify and contact potential buyers for the sector’s outputs

· Move to high-value garments, and provide trade information and counselling services through business associations


Architecture and Engineering

· Leverage regional, bilateral, and global agreements to become globally competitive and an export-driven cluster

· Motivate and maintain a sufficient pool of highly qualified professionals through training and incentives

· Conduct a cluster competitiveness analysis

· Create a dynamic framework for interaction between suppliers and beneficiaries in the cluster


Higher Education Services

· Remove the current admission ceilings for private universities of 800 students per specialization and 8,000 per university

· Allocate an admissions quota at Jordanian universities for international students who would otherwise be unable to study

· Establish a national information database for qualified and experienced Jordanian faculty who are unemployed

· Offer niche specializations that are absent in the region and have international appeal, such as Middle Eastern studies, and Arabic and Islamic studies

· Create a higher education seat on the tourism board

· Establish national standards for quality assurance and accreditation


Fruit and Vegetable Exports

· Set a legislative framework for the agricultural workforce

· Raise awareness of farmers on the importance of linking agricultural production to food processing

· Open labor market to other nationalities

· Participate in international agricultural exhibitions

· Invest in technology transfer to enhance product effectiveness and quality

· Examine the ability of refrigerated transport of agricultural products by land to Europe to increase the capacity of land transport



· Establish a strong independent regulator to eliminate barriers caused by anti-competition practices

· Build capacity of ICT sector personnel in areas such as project and program management

· Develop a strategy and work plans for branding

· Ensure all university courses are tailored to the needs of the sector

· Aggressively license and deploy low cost broadband


Medical Services

· Change rules that govern the medical field to reflect best practices of modern medicine

· Adapt the available database at the Union to determine the medical specializations available in the country and use this information to direct the curricula

· Exempt the fees and expenses of the medical staff participating in conferences and forumsfrom taxable income, as an incentive for continuous progress

· Study how to increase flights to and from countries where demand for Jordanian medical services is the highest

· Enhance the efficiency of processing applications for medical visits and shorten the time needed to issue a medical visa to 48 hours

· Create hospital protocols to guarantee the facilitation of patient admissions and release

· Entrust a local organization to accredit and classify hospital for international recognition



· Improve registration speed for imported and locally manufactured drugs

· Build skill capacity appropriate to qualify personnel needed in pharmaceutical labs

· Orient industry away from generic drugs and towards proprietary drugs and other innovations

· Raise indigenous legal expertise to international standards for drug registration, patent registration, and process litigation

· Continually improve the standards and performance of the Jordanian Food Drug Administration


Processed Food Manufacturing

· Define Ministry of Health and other relevant government policies so they are clear and transparent

· Train producers in marketing methods to assist them in identifying target markets for specific products

· Increase trust in locally produced goods through appropriate promotion campaigns focused on the high quality of products and packaging

· Create an association to organize the olive oil sector and collectively develop a national export strategy for all producers

· Reduce costs of production, such as electricity and water


Stone and Marble Mining and Processing

· Review the legal framework of the sector, such as ambiguous mining laws that are outdated and in need of revision

· Develop capacity building for labor force on operation skills, managerial skills, and marketing management level

· Develop a clear national marketing strategy to improve product and company profiles in international markets

· Develop incentives for domestic and foreign investors

· Increase the number of companies willing to invest in new technology and new equipment

· Develop a system for best-utilization of limited resources and good supply of raw materials



· Adopt and implement sustainable tourism policies

· Target citizens and communities of Jordan as the primary beneficiaries of tourism by offering opportunities for income generation and employment

· Position Jordan as a “boutique” destination through an expanded emphasis on niche marketing

· Develop Jordan Tourism Board’s internet capacity so it becomes a key interface with customers

· Develop the relationship between Royal Jordanian and the JTB to succeed in international markets and work to increase other forms of public-private sector partnership in the sector

Vision Strategies

The document also contains high level strategy recommendations, which are defined along with ‘benchmarks’ and responsible actors charged with carrying out aspects of the strategy. The following provides an overview of the key recommendations across the different ‘strategies’.


Strategy I: Project Dynamic Leadership

· Implement "e-government" and "e-commerce" initiatives by enacting broader e-commerce legislation and undertaking regular e-government procurement actions

Strategy II: Establish Effective Public Private Partnerships

· Launch a joint public private council for economic affairs and other public boards/bodies

· Invite the chairs of the Jordan Competitiveness Network (JCN) and INT@J to Cabinet’s committee meetings

· Amend laws and regulations to ensure effective implementation of a new system

· Track Jordan’s economic progress over time, in terms of GDP growth per capita and per capita rank

· Ensure greater information flows and mandate transparency among all government bodies


Strategy III: Instill International Competitiveness

· Empower JCN to drive the activities of the Ministry of Planning’s Competitiveness Unit to serve as the primary proponent for competitiveness

· Implement competitiveness-related changes in public and private sector entities

· Implement a new system of measurable standards to track Jordan’s competitive position


Strategy IV: Ensure Access to Markets

· Review and upgrade trade agreements


Strategy V: Modernize Business Environment

· Reinvent and streamline the Jordan Investment Board to increase private sector participation and investment promotion

· Implement transparent investment regulatory regime based on international best practices

· Design tax reform program based on international best practices

· Implement public sector modernization program based on international best practices

· Increase efficiency and fairness within the Customs Department

· Increase access to venture capital and project finance

· Implement judicial reform project for trade issues


Strategy VI: Establish World-Class Infrastructure

· Encourage future-oriented basic infrastructure and public services

· Develop Jordan’s telecom network in accordance with international standards

· Create efficient transport infrastructure

· Ensure adequate water availability

· Ensure cost efficient sources of energy

· Protect Jordan’s environment


Strategy VII: Develop Skilled Human Resources

· Design Center of Excellence Award focused on software development

· Enable education reform by amending relevant laws, particularly by creating more rigorous academic standards

· Integrate science and technology into the education system at all levels

· Implement new skills training strategy within the education system, especially in English, science, and math

· Anticipate current and future business requirements

· Increase the resources allocated for the development of education

· Introduce career guidance offices into the educational system


Report Name



Jordan Vision 2020 – Phase II

March 2006



Supporting Donor

Chemonics International, Inc.



Lead Ministry


Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation

Key Topics

Agriculture & Engineering – Apparel and Textile Manufacturing – Business Environment – Cluster– Competitiveness – Dynamic Leadership – Export promotion – Fruit & Vegetable – GDP growth–Higher Education – Human Resources – ICT – Infrastructure – Investment – Improve public sector functions – educational Tourism – medical Tourism – Legislative framework – stone and marble Mining – Pharmaceuticals – Processed Food – Public-private partnership

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