Jordan is a haven of stability for business and continues to serve as a commercial hub in the region. Jordan is a strong ally of the United States (U.S.) and has solid cooperative relations with its neighbors and the international business community. Nevertheless, the economy is heavily reliant upon imports.
Healthcare Policy Issues
In 2014, Jordan moved forward on several legislative reforms, including the new Income Tax Law, Public Private Partnership Law, and Investment Law. The Investment Law grants equal treatment to local and foreign investors and grants specific incentives for local and foreign investment in industry; agriculture, tourism, hospitals, transportation, energy, and water distribution. The banking, information and communication technology, pharmaceuticals, and tourism sectors have all experienced key reforms in the past decade. The government pursued economic reform measures as part of its International Monetary Fund (IMF) Extended Fund Facility program, which began in August 2016. Generally, Jordan is among the region’s best in protecting intellectual property rights.
Jordan was the first Arab country to have signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the U.S., a reflection of the openness of the Jordanian economy and the level of market access available to U.S. companies. The U.S.-Jordan FTA creates significant advantages for U.S. exporters. U.S. suppliers are now able to sell products at more attractive prices, as nearly all tariff barriers on goods traded between the U.S. and Jordan have been eliminated. Bilateral trade has grown 800% following the entry of the FTA. Jordan is also one of only two Arab countries to have concluded a peace agreement with Israel, creating opportunities for trilateral cooperation and trade.
American companies seeking to do business in Jordan should find a strong local partner or agent who can assist in navigating the culture, language, and bureaucracy.
Current Market Trends
Jordan is viewed as a regional leader for the provision of medical services, and a relatively popular destination for Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nationals seeking affordable quality treatment. Physicians tend to be Western-educated and well regarded. Jordan is working to boost its pharmaceuticals sector and seeks U.S. partners to that end.
Jordan is facing heavy demands upon its resources due to a growing population and an influx of Syrian refugees, which by some counts has exceeded one million. Therefore, expanding the reach of Jordan’s healthcare services in a tight budget environment is a priority of the government. Jordan receives significant international assistance, some of which is dedicated to provision of healthcare services.
The largest exporters to Jordan in 2017 included: China (14%), Saudi Arabia (14% – largely oil), and the U.S. (10%). European Union (EU) member states, such as Germany, are major competitors in healthcare equipment and services. However, U.S. products are very well regarded and often a first choice.
Jordan will see steady demand due to 2% year-on-year population growth, a significant number of refugees, and a focus on medical tourism services. The population growth rate continues to climb, with 69% of the population being under 30, and 37% under the age of 15, ensuring future demand.
Businesses in Jordan must register with the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Supply, as well as Chambers of Commerce or Industry depending on the type of business. They must also open a bank account, obtain a tax identification number, and register for value added tax (VAT). They also need to obtain a vocational license from the municipality, receive a health inspection, and register with the Social Security Corporation.
The “Investment Window” at the Jordan Investment Commission (www.jic.gov.jo) serves as a comprehensive investment center for investors. The window provides its services to both local and foreign investors, particularly those in the agricultural sector, medical, tourism, industrial, ICT-BPO, and energy sectors.
Investment Window of Jordan Investment Commission
Telephone: +962 (6) 5608400/9 Extn: 230
P.O. Box 893 - Amman 11821 Jordan
The U.S.-Jordan FTA has removed most tariff barriers to the market. In general, there are no major barriers to entry into the Jordanian market. However, the following issues still affect doing business in the market;
- Ease of doing business is still a challenge in Jordan due to an overstaffed public sector and a top-down approach to decision making which disincentives managers from taking decisive action.
- Regional strife has limited Jordan’s ability to trade with its neighbors.
- The closing of Jordan’s main border crossings with Iraq and Syria in 2015 due to regional unrest has added stress on Jordan’s exports sector and logistics infrastructure. The Treibl border crossing, which traverses the Amman – Baghdad highway, reopened to limited commerce in late 2017.
- Jordan has taken in an estimated 1.2 million Syrian refugees due to the conflict, stressing its infrastructure and exacerbating budget challenges, and creating demand for affordable and available healthcare.
- Jordan relies upon imports for 96% of its energy needs, making the country vulnerable to commodity price fluctuations.
- Foreign assistance contributes significantly to Jordan’s economy. The United States provides Jordan with over $1 billion annually in assistance.
- Despite a well-educated population with a literacy rate of 98%, high unemployment (18.3% for Jordanian nationals as of Jan. 2017), water scarcity, and high rates of poverty remain critical issues in Jordan. The budget deficit resonates across all sectors, undermining economic growth.
Procurement & Tenders
The two primary governmental entities implementing public sector procurements in Jordan are the Government Tenders Directorate (GTD) www.gtd.gov.jo and General Supplies Department (GSD) www.gsd.gov.jo.
Government Health Plans
Information on future healthcare plans by Jordan can be found in the following planning documents:
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do I need a local partner to do business in Jordan?
While not legally required, we advise seeking a reputable agent or distributor for doing business in Jordan to assist in navigating the culture, bureaucracy and language challenges.
2. I see a lot of stuff in the news. Is it safe to travel to Jordan?
Jordan is among the most pro-Western and safest countries in the region, and indeed the world to visit. Tourists from all over the world travel to Jordan annually to visit Petra/Wadi Rum, the Dead Sea, and a host of Biblical sites. While general security awareness is advisable when traveling in the region, crime is low in Jordan and visitors can move freely within the country.
3. What’s the best way to get to Jordan?
The national carrier is Royal Jordanian, which operates four non-stops daily from North America: New York, Chicago, Detroit and Toronto. There also several flights daily from European cities to Amman. Americans can receive a visa on arrival ($55) at the state-of-the-art Queen Alia International Airport. Several western brand hotels operate in Jordan, including Marriott, Hyatt, Four Seasons and Sheraton.
U.S. Commercial Service Contact Information
Name: Fred Aziz
Position: Senior Commercial Specialist
Phone: +962 (6) 590-6629