The draft investment law .. the ambiguity of privileges and the cycle of formation of committees | book of ammon

In the midst of extraordinary economic conditions that Jordan has not seen during the years of its statehood, 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 that has exhausted and irritated the sleep of the largest group of the population, where thirty percent of the youth and degree holders The Supreme Court is staggering, lost in the clutches of unemployment, venting their anger on social media channels, sometimes and at other times 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 is looking at us with a draft law to regulate the environment Investment is the most beautiful thing that can be described as a “weak” project that does not meet the size of the aspirations and will not be able to stand n before the challenges we face and will not serve in the implementation of the royal vision of economic modernization.

The new bill was not satisfied with the withdrawal of most of the privileges contained in Act No. 30 of 2014 was determined, “despite their scarcity, shortcomings and unattractiveness” and for reasons previously stated to be related to addressing structural imbalances in the law and necessitating the return of these privileges to their parent laws. Investors are plunged into a cycle of uncertainty and lack of confidence in the future of their investments, since the draft law, according to Article 12, determines the establishment of a committee (incentives and exemptions) ) to examine requests for the granting of incentives and consider exemptions!! Its laws, including, for example, but not limited to the Egyptian law, which devoted many of its articles to refer to the privileges, facilities and the set of incentives that favor the investor. Never grant or deny any required privileges.

The question that strongly emerges is what will motivate me as an investor to make the investment decision in Jordan in the hope that the Incentive Committee will give me privileges and exemptions that will contribute to the success of my investments??? Whereas 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 that bases more than 96 percent of its economy 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 incubator countries for creativity, innovators and entrepreneurs that have not been given any attention by the law, than 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 completely ignored the bill while the government had previously approved it by adopting the “general 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 law that competes with the laws of neighboring countries and countries of the world, and unlike in this way over a law speaking, 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 Businessmen and Women’s Association fadi.majali@gmail.com

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