AMMAN – The ICT sector in Jordan forms the main incubator for the necessary development processes for all sectors in the Kingdom.
Technical infrastructure is the most important factor that attracts investment in more than one sector, at a time when costs are reduced, and efficiency increases as the dependence on technology in several sectors increases.
In addition to an incubator for the development of other sectors, there are promising opportunities for the ICT sector in Jordan, which can be achieved by maximizing strengths, overcoming challenges and exploiting the necessary capabilities.
During the meetings of the national economic workshop held at the Royal Court entitled “Moving into the future: Unlocking the possibilities to modernize the economy”, experts and specialists from the ICT sector participated in sessions to discuss ways to improve the sector. to develop and strengthen. by developing a strategy that is not only aimed at promoting the sector, but also at playing a role Communication and information technology also contribute to the development of other sectors.
Hala Siraj, general manager of Talabat in Jordan, who participated in the ICT sector session at the national economic workshop, said: “The ICT sector has always been one of the most promising sectors in the national economy, with its direct and indirect contribution that reached 14. percent of GDP years ago, and today with the slowdown in the Jordanian economy due to various internal and external factors, we worked during the national economic workshop to study the challenges and opportunities available , to determine the effectiveness of the sector’s economic contribution.
She added, “The Jordanian ICT sector is distinguished by its quality and reliability in its services, as evidenced by a number of world-renowned companies that have come to Jordan, such as Expedia, Amazon and others. Jordanians are also distinguished by their skills. in the field of information and communication technology at regional level, where many are established.From start-up companies that have become Jordanian success stories like CoinMENA and BitOasis just to name a few.We have the potential to have more success stories in different fields like FinTech, Ed Tech and FoodTech. ” Jordan’s GDP growth, driven in part by increased exports of ICT services.
In 2018, total ICT revenue increased by about 10.8 percent compared to 2017, more than 5 times the growth in GDP in the same year, and with a compound annual growth rate between 2014 and 2018 of 8.2 percent, thanks to the increase in export revenue, which in turn achieved growth Annually compounded by 10.1 percent in the same period. The total number of jobs offered in the ICT sector was estimated at 14,000 in 2018.
In turn, dr. Ashraf Bani Muhammad, member of the board of directors of the Jordan Fund for Entrepreneurship and associate professor of technology economics at the University of Jordan, who participated in the ICT sector session, the role of the entrepreneurship environment in the ICT sector, which overlaps and significant cross-cutting of the entrepreneurship environment with the sector and the importance of an empowering system for entrepreneurship and innovation in the ICT sector.
Bani Muhammad said: “Despite the presence of some regulatory challenges in the business environment represented by the lack of organizational stability and inconsistency in the interpretation of policies and regulations, the business environment in Jordan has significantly improved during the seen over the past decade, and was able to reach an unprecedented qualitative leap to reach the top 29 in the rankings of the ease of business index in 2020 compared to 2019, where several points in the index contributed to the improvement of the ranking , such as access to finance, by improving access to credit by introducing a new law on secure transactions, amending the insolvency law, and starting a unified sub-register Modern and structured notice, and by paying taxes, by Jordan introduction of the electronic window for the submission and payment of returns, etc. to resolve insolvency by pros implement edures that enable debtors to initiate reorganization proceedings and to improve business continuity and the treatment of contracts during insolvency proceedings.
He explained that the Jordanian Fund for Entrepreneurship has managed to invest in more than 11 funds dedicated to youth support over the last few periods, while today it funds entrepreneurial companies, as companies in the region 27-29 percent of the fund’s funding. , which reflects his great role in helping entrepreneurs develop their ideas and projects.
There are strengths in the telecommunications and information technology sector that can be built upon in development plans, represented in the presence of a large number of graduates annually with basic and specialized skills, the availability of digital infrastructure, the sector’s ownership of goods established brands in the Middle East and North Africa, and the possession of the Arabic language and the neutral dialect required by the service outsourcing sector, together with the production of the majority of Arabic content around the world in Jordan, state support for the sector, Jordan’s relatively high rate of entrepreneurship, which accounts for 27 percent of entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa, and the achievable cost of highly skilled labor, and easy access to the market thanks to numerous trade and bilateral agreements.
Those involved in the sector seek to identify future priorities for the ICT sector, starting with potential priorities for growth and development, including taking advantage of local skills, language and Jordan’s position to make it a regional center for the ICT sector. outsourcing of information technology services, working together for the growth of the local market, and benefiting Jordanians abroad from digital transformation of the public sector, infrastructure investments and encouragement of participation in global enterprise value chains.
In terms of the empowering elements for future growth and development, it stands out by providing specific financing products for the sector, establishing regulations and requirements that are easy to understand, quick to implement and do not require large capital, laws and implement regulations to make Jordan more attractive to specialized foreign cadres and authorities, reduce bureaucratic barriers, and implement changes in educational curricula, to develop practical skills and ensure compatibility with technological developments, and to improve data collection, validation and dissemination capabilities across sectors to enable innovation in ICT.