Roufan Nahhas, based in Jordan, has been covering cultural issues in Jordan for more than two decades.

  • Jordan seeking to woo Japanese investors, On: Sun, 03 Dec 2017

  • Abjjad, the Arab world’s first virtual reading space, On: Sun, 19 Nov 2017

  • Jordan seeking to woo tourists to its religious sites, On: Sun, 19 Nov 2017

  • Jordan’s education system strained by Syrian refugees, On: Sun, 12 Nov 2017

  • Greening the Camps brings food and hope to refugees, On: Sun, 22 Oct 2017

  • Amman Design Week revolves around ‘movement’, On: Sun, 15 Oct 2017

  • The Sahara Forest Project, Jordan’s innovative water scheme, On: Sun, 24 Sep 2017

  • Jordanian women activists applaud abrogation of rape law, On: Sun, 10 Sep 2017

  • Jordan to host regional conference on role of sustainable tourism in cities, On: Sun, 27 Aug 2017

  • Jordan’s municipal elections marred by deaths, riots, On: Sun, 20 Aug 2017

  • Divorces rising to record high in Jordan, On: Sun, 13 Aug 2017

  • Rules set to curb child marriages in Jordan, On: Sun, 06 Aug 2017

  • ‘Meditation tourism’ a new trend in Jordan, On: Sun, 06 Aug 2017

  • Jerash festival transforms Amman into a centre of global culture, On: Sun, 30 Jul 2017

  • Fair sheds light on Jordan’s food industry, leading players, On: Sun, 23 Jul 2017

  • Jordan launches first opera festival, On: Sun, 23 Jul 2017

  • Jordan embarks on aggressive anti-smoking campaign , On: Sun, 18 Jun 2017

  • Jordan gearing up for another Ramadan with refugees, On: Sun, 28 May 2017

  • Amman to celebrate status as ‘capital of Islamic culture’, On: Sun, 28 May 2017

  • Jordan looks for new answers to refugee crisis, On: Sun, 07 May 2017

  • Aqaba — Jordan’s ‘Bride of the Red Sea’, On: Sun, 30 Apr 2017

  • Halla Walla: First Arab-inspired emojis app, On: Sun, 23 Apr 2017

  • Biographer seeks to preserve memories of Palestinians, On: Sun, 16 Apr 2017

  • Jordan’s ‘City of Mosaics’ struggling to preserve its heritage, On: Sun, 09 Apr 2017

  • Nike hijab for Muslim athletes welcomed, criticised, On: Sun, 26 Mar 2017

  • Jordan’s water shortage made worse by refugee crisis, On: Sun, 19 Mar 2017

  • Arabic tech-term translation app in the works, On: Sun, 05 Mar 2017

  • Controversy in Jordan over its two-tier minimum wage system , On: Sun, 26 Feb 2017

  • Jordan’s anti-ISIS Syria air strikes send a message home, On: Sun, 19 Feb 2017

  • Obesity a major health problem in Jordan, On: Sun, 19 Feb 2017

  • Jordan alarmed by rising familicide, On: Sun, 12 Feb 2017

  • Terror, taxes hinder Jordan tourism sector, On: Sun, 22 Jan 2017

  • Arab women to take part in North Pole expedition, On: Sun, 18 Dec 2016

  • Jordan Trail is an adventure through history and culture, On: Sun, 18 Dec 2016

  • Begging an alarming phenomenon in Jordan, On: Sun, 11 Dec 2016

  • Jordan’s cyber-crime law: A double-edged sword, On: Sun, 13 Nov 2016

  • Jordanians divided on educational reform, On: Sun, 09 Oct 2016

  • UNESCO World Heritage site, Jordan’s Um er-Rasas seeks recognition, On: Sun, 02 Oct 2016

  • Jordan’s breathtaking Valley of the Moon, On: Sun, 28 Aug 2016

  • Jordan seeking to woo Japanese investors

    The Japanese- Jordanian Investment Initiative aims mainly to encourage Japanese investors to expand their business to Jordan.

    2017/12/03 Issue: 134 Page: 21

    Amman - Jordan and Japan are seeking to consolidate their diplo­matic relations by expand­ing economic cooperation and facilitating mutual in­vestments through the Japanese- Jordanian Investment Initiative.

    The initiative, which principally aims to support Japanese compa­nies expand business to Jordan, was in response to growing Japa­nese investors’ interest in taking advantage of Jordan’s political and economic stability.

    Jordan is tenth in the region in the ease of conducting business in the “Doing Business 2018: Re­forming to Create Jobs” report pub­lished by the World Bank.

    “Our aim is to find and create op­portunities for Japanese investors who are seeking a stable environ­ment. Since the Jordanian market is not big enough, Japanese compa­nies can utilise Jordan as a business hub for the Middle East and North Africa market,” said Kazuya Nakay­ama, president of the initiative.

    “The role of the initiative is to promote business between Jordan and Japan and when we say busi­ness, we mean both ways: from Ja­pan to Jordan and vice versa.”

    Nakayama, who visited Jordan to explore areas that might be of an interest to Japanese companies such as Dead Sea products, gam­ing and animation, said “there are lots of opportunities for both coun­tries.”

    “Jordan has been making steady progress towards economic liber­alisation while aiming to nurture internationally competitive indus­tries and this is an excellent devel­opment,” Nakayama said.

    There are 304 Japanese-affiliated companies operating in the United Arab Emirates, compared to 21 in Jordan, the Japanese official said, stressing: “We need a different strategy for Jordan from that in the UAE.”

    Nakayama argued that Jordan enjoys several key characteris­tics, including natural resources, highly qualified, educated and well-trained human resources and advanced infrastructure in various fields, making it a favourable part­ner for joint projects.

    “I think the advantage of Jordan is its people who know very well the MENA market and my mes­sage to the Japanese companies is why you don’t work with Jordanian companies to get into that market,” he added.

    A Jordan-Japan business forum was organised by the Jordan In­vestment Commission and the Jap­anese-Jordanian Investment Ini­tiative on the sidelines of an official visit by Jordanian King Abdullah II to Tokyo in October 2016.

    The forum included bilateral meetings between Jordanian and Japanese business leaders in the information technology, anima­tion, games industry, cosmetics and Dead Sea products, pharma­ceutical, tourism and olive oil in­dustries; 26 Jordanian business­men and 100 Japanese participated in the forum.

    “Most Japanese think that the Middle East is not safe enough to do business and changing this per­ception is the biggest challenge. Another challenge is to increase Japanese companies’ interest in the MENA market as their main fo­cus at the moment is on the Asian market,” Nakayama said. “As for Jordanian companies, the biggest challenge is the determination for quality control. Japanese market expects 100% quality control; 99% is not enough.”

    The World Bank report stated that Jordan had a number of eco­nomic strengths, including the ease in getting electricity, register­ing a property, trading across bor­ders and, to a certain extent, pay­ing taxes. However, the kingdom has a mixed record on protecting minority investors, resolving insol­vency, enforcing contracts, issuing construction permits and securing credit.

    King Abdullah recently met with a delegation representing Japan’s Toshiba Corporation that took part in the World Science Forum 2017, the largest scientific event in the region. Media reports said the Japa­nese company expressed interest in investing information and commu­nications technology in the country and providing training to qualified Jordanians.

    Official figures indicate that Jor­dan has obtained from Japan about $1.3 billion in soft loans, grants and technical assistance. Japan is the tenth biggest trading partner of Jor­dan in terms of volume, which is estimated at $596.2 million yearly, Global Edge said.

    Earlier this year, the Jordanian Council of Ministers endorsed measures to ease doing business in the country and to stimulate the na­tional economy in accordance with Jordan Vision 2025.

    Some 307 Japanese nationals lived in Jordan as of October 2016 while Jordanian nationals resid­ing in Japan are estimated to be no more than 155 as of December 2016.

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