Overview of best prospect sectors, major infrastructure projects, significant government procurements and business opportunities.
Jordan offers opportunities to U.S. companies in sectors ranging from engineering/construction, defense and security, medical equipment, ICT, environmental technologies, and consumer goods. In the World Bank’s “Doing Business Report 2020”, Jordan was recognized for the country’s improved business climate, rising in country ranking from 104 to 75, though continued improvements are needed to match regional competitors. To supplement the government’s limited resources for public infrastructure funding, some projects are being implemented as public-private partnerships. Market opportunities (export and project-based) highlighted in the guide include, but are not limited to:
Safety & Security. As the Jordanian government prioritizes security, there is strong demand for imported safety and security equipment. The market is comprised of four main segments: premises security, personal protection, security services operations, and firefighting. Primary end-users include government facilities, banks, hospitals, hotels/resorts, universities, as well as residential and commercial spaces.
ICT. The Information Communications and Technology (ICT) sector is one of the fastest growing sectors in Jordan’s economy, with over $2.3 billion, accounting for more than 22,000 jobs and comprising 3.8 percent of the GDP. There are over 900 companies operating in telecom, IT, online and mobile content, business outsourcing, and games development. Key partnerships can yield opportunities to access domestic and regional markets.
Medical Technologies. Jordan’s healthcare spending is over 9 percent of GDP and 80 percent of the country’s medical equipment is imported. Furthermore, Jordan is viewed as a regional leader for the provision of medical services, and a popular destination for Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nationals seeking affordable and quality treatment, which creates demand for advanced medical technologies, supplies, and equipment. U.S. firms will also find market interest in e-health solutions, healthcare management systems and software.
Water Technologies. As one of the most water scarce countries in the world, solutions that contribute to addressing Jordan’s long-term water security are in demand. U.S. firms will find both export and project-based business opportunities involving infrastructure development, smart water technologies (systems that automate monitoring and metering, treatment, distribution, loss, and leakage) as well as training/consultation services associated with water conservation, wastewater treatment, and desalination.
Energy. Over the past decade, Jordan diversified sources of energy, and invested in renewable energy, including wind and solar. These rapid developments, coupled with long-term gas supply contracts, created excess electricity supply. Moreover, the government decided to stop granting approvals for new renewable energy projects with capacities exceeding 1MW until studies are completed on managing grid integration. Oversupply and the imposed cap on renewable energy projects make power generation projects difficult in the present circumstances. However, given Jordan’s strong potential as a renewable energy producer, U.S. firms should continue monitoring the market over the medium-term, to include potential openings for energy storage solutions. Technologies and services related to efficiency gains, including smart metering and grid management, may also find opportunities.
Agriculture. Jordan is a net food-importing country, with a growing market of 10.8 million consumers, including refugees. Jordan has increasingly westernized consumer tastes and imports up to 98 percent of consumable items from abroad, including wheat, barley, sugar, rice, powdered milk, tea, coffee, corn, vegetable oil (excluding olive oil), cheese, chickpeas, vermicelli, lentils and value-added products such as tree nuts and poultry and poultry products. Water scarcity affects which crops are competitive to produce in Jordan versus importing. The horticultural product sector, the poultry industry, and small-scale herding are major components of the agriculture sector.