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Jordan: Improving the Business Environment (SABEQ)

Jacobs, Cordova & Associates worked with Deloitte as the main technical experts for the better business environment component in the USAID Sustainable Achievement of Business Expansion and Quality (SABEQ) project in Jordan. We worked to improve Jordan’s performance in the doing business indicators, to improve legal transparency and security in Jordan through better legal publication and consultation practices, and to boost the capacities of private sector trade associations to participate constructively in policymaking. Our broad-ranging work to build capacities in the Ministries for trade and market friendly regulation included:

  • Designing Jordan’s first public consultation unit in the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and writing the country’s first consultation manual, with training;
  • Carrying out Jordan’s first pilot Regulatory Impact
  • The RIA changed a major policy decision in the Ministry of Environment, and was used in a series of RIA trainings in Jordan.
  • Working with the Development Zone Committee, we adapted the regulatory guillotine approach to a complete review and reform of Jordan’s policies on investment promotion. The team recommended changes to policy, regulatory documents, fee structures, and operational authorities to remove inconsistencies and inefficient elements of the country’s investment promotion program as part of a complete revision of the law.  The reforms were completely implemented.
  • In 2011, we headed up a reform aimed at improving business processes on which Jordan had low rankings in the Doing Business indicators. A set of public-private working groups worked for four months, and recommended substantial changes to the government’s steering group. For example, reform of the Vocational Licensing and Construction Permitting procedures to reduce unnecessary time and excessive fees would save Jordan’s businesses JD 0.9 billion over 5 years and, in addition, would permit faster business start-ups and commercial activities. These cost savings would go directly into business profits, wages, and lower prices for consumers. They are equivalent to 74% of the FDI inflows and over 4.7% of the GDP in 2010. The recommendations were adopted by the Government Steering Group in early 2012, and are currently in front of the Government for implementation.

Jordan, Government of Jordan’s Ministry of Trade and Industry SABEQ Program (USAID funded project) under contract to BearingPoint, 2006-2012.