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LONDON: Jordan’s new Minister of Investment has used his first visit to the UK to highlight the prospects for cooperation and encourage British businesses to take advantage of available economic and investment opportunities.
“We are here on a mission to bring Jordan to the international platform to highlight the opportunities and key driving factors that can make good investments in Jordan,” Khairy Amr told Arab News on the sidelines of a round table organized by the London. Arab-British Chamber of Commerce.
He said the country had identified six sectors to focus on that were “important” to Jordan at this stage: information technology, tourism, healthcare, transport and logistics, agriculture and life sciences.
“These are important areas where we stress the need for further investment from our friends here in the UK,” he said, adding that trade, trade, direct investment and exchange of expertise with Great Britain were also explored to open up new markets. Companies based in Jordan.
The new Ministry of Investment was established last October following a cabinet reshuffle by the prime minister, signaling Jordan’s commitment to accelerating foreign investment and boosting the competitiveness of its economy.
It replaced the Jordanian Investment Commission and joined the few entities representing investments in Jordan to become a big ministry, he said.
Amr, who met his British counterpart Gerry Grimstone and other officials during his visit, called on investors to use Jordan as a platform to access other markets due to its strategic location connecting three continents.
“That was historically the case, and that is why places like Petra were built to accommodate trade and connections with different countries and different continents.
“Today the role has evolved significantly, there is the element of technology involved, and there is also an element of specific knowledge of regional markets and their specific requirements.”
The Minister said that his country played an important role as it had significant resident talent from Jordan and the region who knew these markets and their needs, so it provided a platform for investors.
In addition to this, he said that they have concluded a significant range of bilateral trade agreements with Europe, the United States, the Arab world and Asia which allow investors free access, without quota and without customs at all these markets.
The former banker said he would like to see bilateral relations between the two countries rise significantly to become an important partner.
“The UK has always been a very close ally and partner to Jordan in almost all aspects of economic and commercial activity and we would like to highlight this, develop it, strengthen cooperation and bring more expertise and support. UK investment, as well as exploring ways to open UK markets to Jordan-based investors,” he said.
The Department for International Trade said in a May report that Jordan was the UK’s 89th largest trading partner in 2021, accounting for 0.1% of the UK’s total trade.
Total trade in goods and services between the two countries stood at £653m ($824m) last year, an increase of 3.7% or £23m on 2020.
Bandar Reda, Secretary General and CEO of the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce, said the roundtable offered its members a great opportunity to hear “first hand from Jordan’s investment decision maker and see the development of this great country.
He also said that the timing of the minister’s visit and that he had chosen the UK was perfect as it presented a real opportunity to show the new regulations and development of the country, especially after the establishment of the ministry.
“The Arab-British Chamber of Commerce, we consider it the home of the entire Arab business community in the UK,” he said, adding that the organization wanted to facilitate cooperation with Arab countries, the UK government and business.