Jordan's economic growth has declined in recent years, hit by the financial crisis of 2008 and latterly by regional conflict, deterring investors. In 2017, the economy grew 2 percent.
"Today we have two challenges on our hands, we have the fiscal challenge – in which we're trying to reform -- and there are serious actions being taken in order for us to strengthen our economy. And the second challenge we have is that we continue to strive for better growth."
"We need to grow 5 percent year-on-year in order for us to actually start seeing the economic cycle to start building up to the level we want it to (be at). We have a growth map and in 2018 and 2022 there are certain projects that we need to start filling in and this is an opportunity to invite investors to have a look at … investments (opportunities)"
Jordan is aiming to be a regional investment hub, Shehadeh said: "Jordan has the youth, infrastructure and capabilities."
The likes of Expedia, Microsoft and Cisco have set up bases or invested in Jordan's capital Amman and Shehadeh said interest continues to grow. "We're active and we're seeing lots of people being interested in Jordan," he said. "Secondly, tourism numbers are growing and I hear that tourism numbers are up 15 percent versus last year."
Jordan has created "development zones" in different parts of the country with each area tackling different sectors, such as technology or logistics. The zones are designed to attract both local and foreign investments.
Jordan's Investment Commission has tried to attract businesses by offering low tax rates, including a 5 percent rate of income tax on income generated from all economic and manufacturing
activities undertaken in such zones. (https://jic.gov.jo/portal/en/why-jordan/development-zones-free-zones) "Manufacturers can come and set up shop. (the areas) are ready to go," Shehadeh said.