Jordan Business Profile
• GDP: US$11.9 billion (2005 estimate).
• Main exports: Phosphates, potash, fertilisers, chemicals and pharmaceuticals.
• Main imports: Crude oil, wheat, sugar, meat and machinery.
• Main trade partners: USA, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, China (PR) and India.
Jordan’s agricultural sector produces tomatoes, citrus fruit, cucumbers, watermelons, aubergines and wheat, mostly grown in the fertile ground along the Jordan Valley. Phosphate mining and potash extraction are the traditional industries, but oil refining, chemical manufacturing, food processing, and the production of metals and minerals also contribute to this sector.
The service sector accounts for around two-thirds of total output and covers wholesale and retail trading, finance, transport and tourism.
During the latter years of King Hussein’s rule, some economic reforms based on the customary package of deregulation and privatisation were instituted. These brought the country’s rampant inflation under control but failed to dent the country’s massive unemployment problem. These reforms have, by and large, continued under King Abdullah.
Many Jordanian workers have moved abroad in search of employment and their remittances are an essential means of support for many families. Jordan is a member of various pan-Arab economic bodies, notably the Council of Arab Economic Co-operation and the Arab Monetary Fund. The government liberalised the trade regime sufficiently to secure Jordan’s membership of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2000, a free trade accord with the USA and an association agreement with the EU in 2001; these measures have helped to improve productivity. Inflation in 2005 was 3.5%, while annual growth was expected to reach 7.7% in 2006.
English is widely spoken in business circles. Avoid Friday appointments. A good supply of business cards is essential. Formality in dress is important and men should wear a suit and tie for business meetings.
Office hours: Sun-Thurs 0930-1330 and 1530-1800.
Government office hours: Sun-Thurs 0800-1500. During the month of Ramadan, working hours are greatly reduced.
Amman Chamber of Industry (ACI)
PO Box 1800, Amman 11118, Jordan
Tel: (06) 464 3001.
Jordan Chamber of Commerce (JCC)
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