The draft investment law … the ambiguity of privileges and the cycle of formation of committees

Fadi Majali*

In the midst of extraordinary economic conditions that Jordan has not seen during the years of its history, which has just begun its second centenary, the debt, which is more than one hundred and ten percent of the gross domestic product in billions, has exceeded fifty, and unemployment which has exhausted and irritated the sleep of the largest group of the population as thirty percent of the youth and degree holders The Supreme Court is teetering, in the clutches of unemployment, venting their anger on social media channels, sometimes and at other times that it sees them in the trap of societal violence, a victim of drugs, or hotbed of terrorism, and in the face of shallow and unpromising growth rates in the last few years and frequent and remarkable flight for many investments, the government looks at us with ‘ a draft law to regulate The investment environment is the most beautiful thing that can be described as a “weak” project that does not appeal to the size of the aspirations and does not e will not be able to face the challenges we face and will not serve in the implementation of the royal vision of economic modernization.
The new draft law was not satisfied with the withdrawal of most of the privileges granted by the currently valid Law No. 30 of 2014 is not determined “despite their scarcity, shortcomings and unattractiveness, and for reasons previously stated that it is “related to addressing structural imbalances in the law and which necessitates the return of these privileges to their parent laws. ” In the cycle of uncertainty and lack of confidence in the future of their investments, the draft law, according to Article 12, determined the establishment of a committee (incentives and exemptions). ) to consider requests for granting incentives and exemptions! At a time when the countries of the region are rushing to grant privileges and facilities and clearly stipulate them in their laws, including but not limited to the Egyptian law, which has devoted many of its articles to refer to the privileges and facilities and the set of incentives that favor the investor, the draft law came to cancel most of the concessions and limit its decision to a committee that does not It indicates at least the grounds on which these privileges are granted, but rather leave the committee an absolute right to grant. or deny any required privileges.
The question that strongly arises: What will motivate me as an investor to make the decision to invest in Jordan in the hope that the Incentive Committee will give me privileges and exemptions that will contribute to the success of my investments? While I will get these privileges clearly from the first day and according to the law if I am going to invest in Egypt, Turkey or Dubai, for example.
Then, according to Article No. 15 of the draft law, which preserves the privileges of any investor who employs more than 300 workers or invests more than five million, it is not naive to distinguish this distinction in a country where more than 96 percent of its economy is based on small and medium investments!?
We are in a time of total and real transition to the life of digitization and artificial intelligence. The draft law neglected to talk about technological areas concerned with the stimulation of the information and communication technology industry, including the activities of manufacturing, design and development of electronics, data centers, software development, technological education and other complementary activities to help the Kingdom gain access to that industry, in order to We do not lose the bet on the technology sector, which accounts for the highest annual growth rates on a sectoral basis and supports GDP growth. It plays an important role in the economy and supports the trend of transforming the country’s economy into a digital economy, making Jordan an important center for technology in the future.
And to be at the forefront of the countries that cultivate creativity, creators and entrepreneurs who have not been addressed by the law, as supporting entrepreneurs and creating a friendly, incubating and stimulating environment for entrepreneurship, and removing all obstacles to ensure that the economic potential of the Jordanian entrepreneurship system and its growth will contribute to the promotion of the economy and sustainable development, reduce poverty and unemployment, and constitute a key to attract more investment, and this is what the bill completely ignored, while the government previously approved it by adopting the “public policy for entrepreneurship and the local strategic plan for the years 2021-2025.”
Decision makers must realize that attracting investment has become a fierce competition between countries and that the investor makes his investment decision in the light of the privileges he will receive in return that contribute to the success of his business and in the light of the speed and transparency of procedures and the state’s legislative and administrative stability.
Decision makers must realize that achieving the desired growth rates, reducing unemployment rates and creating jobs to realize our economic, social and political aspirations can only be achieved by rehabilitating Jordan as an attractive environment for investment and a mature business environment and a center for attracting business enterprises from all countries of the world The investment environment is regulated by a modern, comprehensive and competitive law that competes with the laws of neighboring countries and countries of the world, and unlike in this way about ‘ speaking of a law, it would be better to continue working with the current law until we are able to formulate a comprehensive and attractive law for investment.

  • President of the Jordanian Expatriate Businesswomen and Businessmen Association

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