(MENAFN - Jordan Times) AMMAN — Deputising for His Majesty King Abdullah, Prime Minister Omar Razzaz on Tuesday inaugurated the seventh round of the Jordanian Expatriates Conference launched under the theme "development and building partners".
During the ceremony, Razzaz called on Jordanian businesspeople, expatriate and local, to invest in the available opportunities in the Kingdom's various sectors, underlining the opportunities for reconstructing neighbouring countries and the export of servces, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.
"Jordan's economic vulnerability and its ability to confront challenges have been shown in the London conference and other international forums," Razzaz said, noting that the 2 per cent growth rate is relatively good in light of the global financial crisis, regional instability, border closings, influx of refugees and the halt of Egyptian gas for several years.
Razzaz also drew attention to the Kingdom's free trade agreements with the US, Canada and Europe, noting that a number of countries including China and India have realised the importance of profiting from these agreements and are thus exporting through the Kingdom to different markets.
The government has developed work plans to deal with the challenges facing the private sector, including bureaucracy, instable regulations and high production costs mainly due to high energy costs, he added.
The premier called on the participants to familiarise themselves with the "connect.jo" network.
The initiative aims to 'establish a strong linkage between professional Jordanians abroad, help individuals and start-ups from Jordan in accessing a foreign country's technology business environment, support Jordanian companies in gaining access to foreign markets, and assist diaspora members in setting up their businesses in Jordan', according to the network's website.
Furthermore, the website adds it will 'help Jordanian graduate students in obtaining scholarships to foreign universities or internship opportunities in foreign companies'.
Organized by the Jordanian Businessmen Association (JBA) and the Businesspeople Association of Jordanian Expatriates (BAJE) in cooperation with the Foreign Ministry and the Jordan Investment Commission (JIC), the conference aims at sustaining communication between expatriate and local businesspeople, as well as keeping them up to date on economic developments and achievements.
During a session following the conference, the premier announced that the Cabinet will instruct the Jordan Industrial Estates Company (JIEC) to lower sale and rent prices in Tafileh, Madaba and Salt's new industrial estates, according to Petra.
The decrease on land prices will range from 30 to 80 per cent for the first 15 companies that make purchases in each estate and for the first five dunums, Razzaz said.
He added that the decrease in rental rates in industrial buildings will range from 40 to 70 per cent at a value of JD7 million, paid by the government.