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Since King Abdullah II’s 1999 ascension to the throne, Jordan has taken steps to encourage foreign investment and to develop an outward-oriented, market-based, and globally competitive economy. Jordan has also positioned itself as a platform to host investments focused on the reconstruction of Iraq and other projects in regional markets.

Jordan’s economic growth has been limited, constrained for over a decade by exogenous shocks, including energy disruptions during the 2011 Arab Spring, the 2015 closure of Jordans borders with Iraq and Syria, the ongoing Syrian civil war, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the borders with Iraq fully and Syria fully reopened in 2017 and 2018 respectively, cross-border movements have not recovered to previous levels. Jordan experienced 2.7 percent GDP growth in 2022 and IMF projections estimate growth of 2.7 percent in 2023. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) dropped slightly by 1.5 percent to JD 509.8 million ($720 million) in 2020 compared to 2019 and reached JD 325 ($459 million in 2021. FDI picked up in 2022 and outperformed 2019 levels standing at JD 629.3 million ($888.8 million).

Jordan is committed to attract investment as a driver of economic growth and job creation, though in practice investment promotion policies are implemented unevenly. Traditionally, foreign investment has been concentrated in the energy (from both conventional sources and renewables), tourism, real estate, manufacturing, and services sectors. In 2022, the Royal Hashemite Court Launched the Economic Modernization Vision aimed at advancing economic growth through an improved investment environment. The vision targets attracting $60 billion in investments and creating one million jobs over the next decade. May 2023, The Ministry of Investment announced its “Investment Promotion Strategy” for 2023-2026 and identified film making, high value added industries, Information and communication technology, health care, tourism, real estate, mining, chemicals, agriculture and logistics as priority areas.

In 2021, Jordan established a dedicated Ministry of Investment, which absorbed the duties of the Jordan Investment Commission and the Public Private Partnerships (PPP) Unit. The Minister of Investment is charged with all issues related to local and foreign investors and setting policies to stimulate investment and enhance competitiveness.

In October 2022, Jordan passed the Investment Environment Law No. 21 of 2022, which came into effect in January 2023, to replace the Investment Law No. 30 of 2014. This law was intended to create an investment‑friendly environment and attract more investment. It reaffirmed that non-Jordanian investors shall be treated like Jordanian investors and expanded the number of sectors able to benefit from incentives, provided the activity met certain criteria.

The new law stipulated three sets of incentives. Incentives are tied to certain criteria such as job creation and women’s employment, export activities and expertise, technology transfer, and/or geographical location. Incentives must be approved by the Council of Ministers based on the Incentives and Exemptions Committee’s recommendations.

The law also liberalized companies’ ability to employ foreign labor. Companies can hire non-Jordanians in administrative and technical jobs that require specialized skills at a rate of no more than 25 percent of the total number of employees, and the percentage may be increased up to 40 percent if qualified Jordanian labor is not available.

Despite these improvements on doing business indicators facilitating investment and business operations in Jordan, operating in Jordan can be more difficult than elsewhere in the region. U.S. investors specifically cite instability in the tax regime and incentive packages as a key challenge, as well as public-private interface issues including the government’s inconsistent interpretation of its policies and regulations.

Table 1: Key Metrics and Rankings
Measure Year Index/Rank Website Address
TI Corruption Perceptions Index 2022 61 of 180
Global Innovation Index 2022 78 of 132
U.S. FDI in partner country ($M USD, historical stock positions) 2020 USD 159
World Bank GNI per capita 2021 USD 4,170

Policies Towards Foreign Direct Investment

The government supports and seeks foreign investment, though government policies and legislation restrict foreign investment in certain sectors. Some sectors and subsectors are only open to Jordanian investors, while other sectors are only open to foreigners up to 49 percent ownership. The full list of sectors is enclosed in the Investment Environment Bylaw No. 7 of 2023.

In 2021, a new, dedicated Ministry of Investment absorbed the responsibilities of the Jordan Investment Commission (JIC). Under Investment Environment Law No. 21 of 2022, the Ministry of Investment is responsible for attracting, encouraging, promoting investment, and ensuring the sustainability of an attractive investment climate.

The Ministry is the focal point for investors and can expedite government services and investment incentives. The Ministry supports services to the investors, including after-care services. It streamlines the procedures, and eliminates obstacles faced by the investors. The Ministry also supervises the work of the Public-Private Partnership Unit.

The Investment Council, comprised of the Prime Minister, ministers with economic portfolios, and representatives from the private sector, approves the investment policy and proposes legislative and economic reforms to develop the investment environment. Members of the Investment council can be found at ( )

The Ministry will continue to support investors through the “Follow-Up and After Care” department established in 2018 and the investor grievance mechanism introduced in 2019 to address investor complaints, with the aim to resolve legal disputes outside of the formal court system.

In 2018, the government issued the “Code of Governance Practices of Policies and Legislative Instruments in Government Departments for the Year 2018.” It aims to increase legislative predictability and stability to ensure the confidence of citizens and the business sector. In 2022, the government developed and adopted guidelines for a Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) and established a dedicated RIA unit at the Prime Ministry to ensure proper implementation of the guidelines across all government entities.

Limits on Foreign Control and Right to Private Ownership and Establishment

Investment and property laws allow U.S. entities to establish businesses in many, but not all, sectors. Foreign companies may open regional and branch offices; branch offices may carry out full business activities; and regional offices may serve as liaisons between head offices and Jordanian or regional clients. The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply’s Companies Control Department implements the government’s policy on the establishment of regional and branch offices.

Under the U.S.-Jordan Bilateral Investment Treaty, U.S. investors are granted several exceptions and are accorded the same treatment as Jordanian nationals, allowing U.S. investors to maintain 100 percent ownership in some restricted businesses. In some sectors, including aerospace and defense, travel and tourism, transportation, and media and entertainment, there are limits to U.S. ownership and/or requirements for key positions to be filled by Jordanian nationals, among other restrictions. The most up-to-date listing of limitations on U.S. investments is available in the FTA Annex 3.1 and may be found at 

Foreign nationals and firms are permitted to own or lease property in Jordan for investment purposes and are allowed one residence for personal use, provided that their home country permits reciprocal property ownership rights for Jordanians. Depending on the size and location of the property, the Land and Survey Department, the Ministry of Finance, and/or the Cabinet may need to approve foreign ownership of land and property, which must then be developed within five years of the date of approval.

The Investment Environment Bylaw No. 7 of 2023 expanded ownership percentage in some economic activities, while maintaining the following restrictions:

  • Foreigners are prohibited from wholly or partially owning investigation and security services, stone quarrying operations for construction purposes, customs clearance services, and bakeries of all kinds; and are prohibited from trading in weapons and fireworks.
  • Investors are limited to 50 percent ownership in certain businesses and services, including:
  • Retail and wholesale trading, including distribution, importation, and exportation services, except for what is necessary for the purposes of performing the economic activity and exporting the product or commodities with the approval of the Minister.
  • Services including engineering consultancy services, brokerage, except for brokerage and financial intermediation carried out by the banks and the financial services companies, services of commercial agents and middlemen and insurance brokers, food and beverage services, except for tourist restaurants and what is being served in hotels.
  • Transportation services and clearance services including maritime services, air transport, and land transportation services, and related services with few exceptions.
  • Foreign firms may not import goods without appointing an agent registered in Jordan; the agent may be a branch office or a wholly owned subsidiary of the foreign firm. The agent’s connection to the foreign company must be direct, without a sub-agent or intermediary.

The regulation authorizes the Council of Ministers, upon the recommendation of the Minister of Investment, to lift or ease restrictions on ownership to non-Jordanian investors in restricted activities or add any of the restricted economic activities mentioned above to an existing project, based on certain criteria.

According to the Investment Environment Bylaw, restrictions relating to the ownership, participation or contribution in the economic activities shall not apply to projects established in accordance with the Public-Private Partnership Projects Law and/or public shareholding companies and economic activities that were registered before the effective date of this Regulation.

The Commercial Agents and Intermediaries Law No. 28/2001 governs contractual agreements between foreign firms and commercial agents. Private foreign entities, whether licensed under sole foreign ownership or as a joint venture, compete on an equal basis with local companies.

For national security purposes, foreign investors must undergo security screening through the Ministry of Interior, which is handled as part of the registration process.

Other Investment Policy Reviews

Jordan has been a World Trade Organization (WTO) member since 2000. The WTO conducted Jordan’s second Trade Policy Review in 2015.

In 2012, the United States and Jordan agreed to Statements of Principles for International Investment and for Information and Communication Technology Services, and a Trade and Investment Partnership Bilateral Action Plan, each of which is designed to increase transparency, openness, and governmental and private sector cooperation. All current treaties and agreements in force between the United States and Jordan may be found here:

The Jordan Strategy Forum (JSF), a leading think tank on economic development, regularly publishes an Investor Confidence Index and Investor Confidence Survey (in Arabic) on its website ( ). In 2021, JSF published a policy paper on how to increase FDI inflows into Jordan: 

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published the “FDI Qualities Review of Jordan” report in June 2022. The report illustrates the role of FDI in helping Jordan meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals in areas of productivity and innovation, job quality and skills, gender equality and de- carbonization. It offers a summary of Jordan’s institutional framework for investment and sustainable development. It also delves into the government’s policies to attract investment and lists areas for priority policy reforms. 

Business Facilitation

Companies in Jordan need to register with the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Supply, Companies Control Department, or the Chambers of Commerce or Industry depending on the type of business they conduct. Registration is required to open a bank account, obtain a tax identification number and obtain a VAT number. New businesses also need to obtain a vocational license from the municipality, receive a health inspection, and register with the Social Security Corporation.

Per the Investment Environment Law No. 21 of 2022, the Ministry of Investment will continue to serve as a comprehensive investment center for investors. It will facilitate registration and licensing. Applications to the Ministry of Investment can be submitted through an electronic platform or in person.

The law also stipulated that the registration of any company does not require prior approval from any entity other than the Ministry of Investment. Relevant government entities shall review and return the company’s registration application to the Comprehensive Investment Service within (15) working days from the date of receiving the application that meets the requirements, otherwise it will be considered an automatic approval to complete the transaction.

In 2022, Parliament endorsed a new law for licensing professions within the jurisdiction of the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) to create a registration fast-track. More than 383 economic activities will be eligible to obtain their licenses within one day, or maximum seven days if the business is considered high-risk. The law also extended the validity of licenses from one to five years.

In 2018, the Companies Control Department developed and launched a portal for online registration: /. Foreign investors can access it to register new companies. However, e-signatures have not been implemented, so investors must sign documents using notary services in their countries.

April 2023, The Ministry of Investment approved and published the “Licensing Guide”, which outlined the licensing procedures for economic activities, the national classification of economic activities JORSIC, and basic steps for starting a business (outside the development and free zones). The guide is currently available in Arabic on the Ministry’s website:

The Investment Environment Law of 2022 outlined the digitization and automation of investment related services and procedures as a key principle to enhancing the business environment and achieving growth. May 2023, The Ministry of Investment announced activating the Comprehensive Investment Services Platform and the automation of 68 services.

In 2018, Jordan launched a National Single Window (NSW) for customs clearance. In 2020, all export and import custom declarations became electronic. In January 2022, the government adopted a simplified import tariff structure and reduced tariff rates. The Ministry of Finance reduced tariff brackets from eleven levels of taxation to four, ranging from zero to 25 percent. The maximum tariff rate (previously 40 percent) was reduced to 25 percent and will be reduced to 15 percent by 2023 ( ).

In 2022, the Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship expanded the number of government transactions that can be completed online to reach 20 percent of all government services. Available e-services include those provided by the Greater Amman Municipality, Ministry of Investment, Tax Department, Ministry of Trade, and Jordan Customs.

Outward Investment

Jordan does not have a mechanism to specifically incentivize outward investment, nor does it restrict it.

In addition to the United States, Jordan has signed bilateral investment treaties with 57 countries or entities including the European Union (EU), Singapore, and Canada.  Jordan’s bilateral investment treaty with the United States entered into force in 2003 and provides reciprocal protection of Jordanian and U.S. individual and corporate investments.
The U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement (FTA) ( ), entered into force in 2001 and came into full effect in 2010. It does not supersede or eliminate the Qualified Industrial Zones (QIZ) initiative, which requires 8 percent of Israeli content (7 percent for high tech goods) to qualify for duty-free U.S. entry. Nevertheless, exports under QIZ requirements considerably shrank as exporters took advantage of the FTA’s broader mandate. FTA rules of origin simply require 35 percent Jordanian content without other restrictions.

Jordan is a member of the Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA), which has been in force since 1998.  The GAFTA reached full trade liberalization of goods in 2005 through full exemption of customs duties and charges for all 17 Arab member states, apart from gradual reductions for Sudan and Yemen.  Jordan has also signed trade preference agreements and bilateral free trade agreements with its neighbors, including Egypt, Syria, Morocco, Tunisia, the UAE, Algeria, Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority, Kuwait, Sudan, Bahrain, and Iraq.

An economic association agreement between Jordan and the EU entered into force in 2002.  This agreement facilitates the free movement of capital as well as cooperation on development and political issues.  Jordan also signed a Free Trade Area Agreement in 2001 with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) states (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland); this agreement completed its transitional period in 2014.  In 2016, Jordan and the EU agreed on new rules of origin designed to facilitate Jordanian exports to the EU, conditional upon hiring a certain percentage of Syrian labor.  Jordan and the EU are discussing potential revisions to this agreement.
With respect to other agreements, Jordan signed a Free Trade Agreement with Singapore in 2004.  That same year, Jordan completed the Agadir trade agreement with Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia, and upgraded its trade agreement with Israel to take advantage of accumulation of content provisions in the EU’s Pan Euro-Mediterranean trade rules of origin. Jordan signed a Free Trade Agreement with Canada in 2009 which came into effect in October 2012. The FTA with Canada eliminates all non-agricultural tariffs and most agricultural tariffs.  Jordan negotiated a new framework economic agreement with Turkey in 2019 to replace the Jordan-Turkey FTA, which was suspended in 2018.
Jordan has double taxation avoidance agreements with 31 countries including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Canada, the United Kingdom (UK), France, and Turkey. The terms of each agreement vary to match the priorities of each signatory, but often include income tax, corporate tax, capital gain, social service tax, and gains generated by the alienation of movable and immovable property. Jordan does not have a double taxation agreement with the United States.
In 2019, the OECD announced that Jordan became the 135th country to join the “Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS).” Jordan is party to the members of the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on BEPS, joining the 2021 Statement on a Two-Pillar Solution to Address the Tax Challenges Arising from the Digitalization of the Economy as of 4 November 2021.

Transparency of the Regulatory System

Legal, regulatory, and accounting policies, applicable to both domestic and foreign investors, are transparent.

The Jordanian Companies Law stipulates that all registered companies should maintain sound accounting records and present annual audited financial statements in accordance with internationally recognized accounting and auditing principles. According to the Jordanian Securities Commission (JSC) Law and Directives of disclosures, auditing, and accounting standards (1/1998), all entities subject to JSC’s supervision are required to apply International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

In June 2022, the Government launched and circulated the updated Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) Guidelines among all Government of Jordan (GoJ) entities. Furthermore, a dedicated RIA unit has been established at the Prime Ministry to ensure proper implementation of the guidelines across all government entities, including consultation with the private sector.

In 2020, the Council of Ministers issued a “Legislation Data Memorandum,” which all government entities submitting new regulations are required to fill out. The memorandum provides information on the type and details of consultations conducted with the public and private sector. Laws and regulations are also published on the website of the Legislative and Opinion Bureau for public comment, in addition to executive branch consultations with the legislative branch and key stakeholders.
In March 2023, Jordan passed an amendment to the Competition Law to combat monopolistic practices, in addition to protecting and promoting fair competition in accordance with international best practices. The Law also increases penalties for anti-competitive practices. These reforms aim to change an existing system influenced by family affiliations, business ties, and other entrenched interests.

All investments, including public sector projects, are required to conduct environmental and social impact studies before receiving final approval. Jordan is committed to its fiscal transparency policy; the Ministry of Finance publishes a monthly “General Government Finance Bulletin” and that includes detailed information on government’s debt obligations. ( arbic_pdf_december2-2021.pdf ( )

International Regulatory Considerations

Jordan recognizes and accepts most U.S. standards and specifications.  However, Jordan has occasionally required additional product standards for imports.  Some of these measures have been viewed as barriers to trade, such as a 2014 restriction imposed on packaging sizes for poultry available for retail resale.

As a member country of the WTO, Jordan is obliged to notify all draft technical regulations to the WTO Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT).
Jordan is a signatory of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.  Jordan implemented 88.7 percent of its commitments.  Jordan submitted its notifications for Category A before the agreement came into force, is currently in the final review for categories B and C and must report completion by December 2023.

Legal System and Judicial Independence

Jordan has a mixed legal system based on civil law, sharia law (Islamic law), and customary law.  The Constitution establishes the judiciary as one of three separate and independent branches of government.  Jordanian commercial laws do not make a distinction between Jordanian and non-Jordanian investors.  However, plaintiffs have complained about judicial backlogs and subsequent delays in legal proceedings.

In 2018, Jordan introduced economic judicial chambers. Jointly the Judicial Council in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice established a unit at the Amman First Instance Court and Amman Magistrate Court that included judges who are solely dedicated to commercial cases specialized in hearing commercial cases exclusively, in accordance with the provisions of the Law of Formation of the amended Courts No. 30 of 2017.  These chambers specialize in the adjudication of certain commercial and investment disputes mentioned in Article 4 of the Courts Formation Law.

Laws and Regulations on Foreign Direct Investment

Jordan’s Investment Environment Law of 2022 governs local and foreign investment.  The law outlines the role of the Ministry of Investment as the main reference authority for investment in the country, incorporates articles clarifying investors’ rights, regulates incentive schemes for investors, either inside or outside Development and Free Zones, in addition to registration and licensing procedures. The law also touches on issues related to investor grievances and contractual disputes.
The Investment Environment Bylaw No. (7) 2023 details the articles of the Investment Environment Law.

The investment regulations list sectors restricted from foreign investment and clarify criteria for investment incentive decisions. The bylaw also regulates issues related to foreign labor.

In 2018, Jordan passed the Insolvency Law, Movable Assets and Secured Lending Law and Bylaw, the Venture Capital Bylaw, and the Income Tax Law, along with bylaws to ensure proper implementation.  The government has worked to train and certify insolvency practitioners. To date, no company has successfully used the insolvency law to re-structure operations and obligations.

In March 2023, Jordan endorsed an amended Social Security Law allowing the private sector to reduce Social Security Contributions for employees below the age of 30.

Since 2020, the GoJ has a Public Private Partnership (PPP) Unit to identify and study investment opportunities. The PPP Unit falls under the Ministry of Investment and has received technical assistance from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and other donors.

In 2021, the Parliament approved further amendments to the Companies Law, to allow virtual General Assembly and Board of Directors meetings. The amendments also stipulated companies must keep a record that includes information about the beneficial owner of shares and further obliged companies to disclose to the Companies Control Department the actual beneficiary, in support on Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing Law.

There is no systematic or legal discrimination against foreign participation with respect to ownership and participation in Jordan’s major economic sectors other than the restrictions outlined in the governing regulations.  In fact, many Jordanian businesses actively seek engagement with foreign partners to increase their competitiveness and access to international markets.  The government’s efforts have made Jordan’s official investment climate welcoming; however, U.S. investors have reported hidden costs, bureaucratic red tape, vague regulations, and unclear or conflicting jurisdictions.

Most economic regulations are available on the Ministry of Industry and Trade and Supply website ( ).  All regulations are published in the Legislative and Opinion Bureau ( ).

Competition and Antitrust Laws

In March 2023, Parliament passed amendments to the Competition Law, revising provisions related to the prohibition of practices that hinder fair competition and the prevention of unfair practices by dominant institutions. The amendments address issues related to economic concentration, increase penalties for anti-competitive practices, and define the concept of the dominant institution and determine the factors according to which any institution is considered to have a dominant position.
The law expands the authority of the Competition Directorate at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply, to ensure proper implementation of the law. It also mandates the Competition Directorate to issue an annual report on the competition situation and publish it on the ministry’s website.

The Competition Directorate at the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Supply conducts market research, examines complaints, and reports violators to the judicial system.

The investor grievance unit established in 2019 at the Jordan Investment Commission, now part of the Ministry of Investment, can also investigate unfair competition cases filed by investors.

Expropriation and Compensation

Article 11 of the Jordanian Constitution stipulates those expropriations are prohibited unless specifically deemed to be in the public interest.  In cases of expropriation, the law mandates provision of fair compensation to the investor in convertible currency.

Article 6 of the Investment Environment Law stipulates that expropriating investment or any part thereof, is not allowed except unless it is required for a public, specific, and legitimate purpose and done in accordance with the law and in a non-discriminatory manner. Investors must be compensated at a fair market price.

Dispute Settlement

ICSID Convention and New York Convention

Since 1972, Jordan has been a contracting state to the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID Convention).  Only a small number of cases between foreign investors and the Jordanian government have been brought before ICSID tribunals.  Jordan is also a signatory to the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (1958 New York convention).

In 2018, the Parliament passed amendments to Arbitration Law 2017, which aims to facilitate the use of arbitration as an alternative to dispute settlement procedures.

Investor-State Dispute Settlement

Under domestic law, foreign investors may seek third party arbitration as a means of settling disputes. Jordan abides by WTO dispute settlement mechanisms and dispute settlement mechanisms under the U.S.-Jordan FTA are consistent with WTO commitments.  Article IX of the United States-Jordan Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) establishes procedures for dispute settlements between Jordanians and U.S. persons.

Investment disputes are treated as any other commercial or civil dispute in the Jordanian judicial system.  Investment agreements with the Jordanian government as a party generally contain a dispute resolution clause that would refer cases to arbitration in Jordan.  On average, it takes three to four years for cases that go through the local court system to reach a verdict.  Cases settled through arbitration take between 12 to 18 months.  The main challenge in litigating cases is being able to conduct proper process of service upon all concerned parties. The Economic Chamber has an expedited route, and specialized courts are also established at the appeal and cassation court, thereby reducing litigation time for commercial cases.

A large foreign investor was negatively affected by the 2018 amendments to the Income and Sales Tax Law, which eliminated tax benefits inside the private free zones. The investor filed a case before the Tax Court of First Instance against the ISTD to challenge this and reserve its right to income tax exemption the government has agreed to. The Court appointed an expert to assess the validity of such instruction. The court ultimately decided in the investor’s favor.

Rulings by U.S. courts or other international arbitration committees can be upheld through the filing of an Enforcement of Ruling motion in a Jordanian court.

International Commercial Arbitration and Foreign Courts

In 2018, amendments to Arbitration Law No. 16 introduced changes to the procedural framework of arbitrators seated in Jordan, which can be traced in the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) model law. The amended law gives more authority to the Arbitral Tribunal and limits the role of the Court of Appeal.

Rulings by U.S. courts or other international arbitration committees can be upheld through the filing of an Enforcement of Ruling motion in a Jordanian court.

The Ministry of Investment has an investor grievance mechanism in accordance with the Investor Grievance bylaw No. 163 of 2019, and Grievance Hearing regulation No. 1 of 2020. This mechanism allows investors to file complaints against government decisions outside of court system; complaints can be filed electronically through the ministry’s website.

Bankruptcy Regulations

The Insolvency Law, Civil Code, and Companies Law collectively govern bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings.   In 2018, Jordan endorsed the Insolvency Law, which allows individuals and companies to offset their financial position through a debt management plan.  The law canceled bankruptcy articles under the Commercial Law, as it was designed to help the insolvent entity continue its economic activity, rather than directly resorting to bankruptcy. The law regulates insolvency proceedings for foreign organizations according to international conventions ratified by Jordan.  As of 2022, judges had dismissed almost all petitions for insolvency on technical grounds and no company has yet used the insolvency law successfully. Voluntary liquidation continues to be governed by articles of the Companies Law.

Defaulting on loans or issuing checks without adequate available balances is a crime in Jordan and may subject the offender to imprisonment under Jordan’s penal system.  While Jordan is reexamining these laws, prison terms for debtors remains a legal practice in Jordan.  Investors should conduct thorough due diligence on potential partners and avail themselves of local legal counsel to understand best business practices in Jordan and conform with local laws.

In consideration of the financial and economic conditions attributed to the coronavirus pandemic, Jordan announced Defense Order  No. 28 of 2021, which delayed the enforcement of debtor’s imprisonment decisions under the Execution Law, provided that the amount owed does not exceed JD 100,000 ($140,000), the defense order was extended (until end of April 2023) with a new threshold of JD 20,000 ($28,000). The defense order also stopped the implementation of criminal rulings for crimes related to issuing a bounced check, as long as the amount does not exceed JD 20,000 ($28,000). On May 7, the Royal Court announced the termination of the state of emergency established during the COVID pandemic, terminating Defense Order No. 28 of 2021. Thus, the Execution Law would be reactivated. The Law was revised in August 2022, setting a JD 5,000 ($7,000) minimum for imprisonment for unpaid debt or passing bad checks. The new provision does not come into effect until 2025.

The U.S. Commercial Service Office of the Embassy of the United States in Amman can assist American businesses in these endeavors.

Investment Incentives

Under Investment Environment Law No. 21/2022, the government may provide incentives by exempting fixed assets, production requirements and inputs, and spare parts that are necessary for performing the economic activity from Customs duties and sales taxes.

In accordance with the Investment Environment Law and bylaw, income tax shall be exempted or reduced by no less than (30 percent) for projects in the least developed regions in the Kingdom or projects that employ at least (250) Jordanians, and for a period of maximum (5) years from the date of actual operation. Sectors that can benefit from tax exemptions are shown below:

  1. Industry
  2. Agriculture and livestock
  3. Hospitals
  4. Specialized medical centers
  5. Hotel and tourist establishments
  6. Cities of entertainment and recreation
  7. Call centers
  8. Information technology
  9. Scientific research centers and scientific laboratories
  10. Artistic and media production and film industry
  11. Conference and exhibition centers
  12. Transportation, distribution and extraction of water, gas and oil derivatives using pipelines
  13. Air, sea and railway transport
  14. Education

The Bylaw excludes the following sectors from tax exemption and reduction provisions: activities registered in the Development Zones and Free Zones; industries related to phosphate, potash, uranium, or derivatives of any of them; and any other natural resources determined by the Council of Ministers, with the exception of the cement industry and the fertilizer industry. Power generation projects are also excluded from exemptions, except for renewable energy projects.

The Council of Ministers, upon the recommendation of the Investment Council, may offer investors a wide range of incentives and exceptions including exemptions and incentives. These include pricing on the sale or rent consideration for lands owned by the public treasury; subsidized energy and water costs and supporting renewable energy projects; tax deductions for infrastructure construction if the project is operational within a certain period of time; and/or tax or customs exemptions or reductions for employing a minimum number of Jordanian labor-force. Exemptions, deduction rates and validity differ based on certain criteria, including:

  1. Employing Jordanian females of not less than (50 percent) of the total number of its employees, provided that the number is not less than (50) Jordanian female employees.
  2. Activities with local added value, at a rate of not less than (50 percent.
  3. Activity transfers knowledge, technology, and digital transformation
  4. Strategic Economic Activities
  5. Public-Private Partnership Projects
  6. Activities in impoverished areas contributing to the development of and services for the local community

If investors meet more than one criterion according to the criteria specified in the law, then the volume of incentives, exemptions and additional benefits granted will increase by 10 percent of the size of the investment for each additional criterion.

Further incentives will be granted to activities that use recycling or are considered small and medium-sized enterprises or intended to protect the environment or supports transition to a green economy. The volume of incentives, exemptions and additional benefits granted would increase by a percentage of 5 percent of the size of the investment.

Jordanian law and regulation promote and incentivizes water efficiency, waste management, and green building in commercial property development. For example, since 2015 the Jordan National Building Codes have required energy efficient practices in new construction.

Starting April 2022, the government implemented a new electricity tariff structure, which reduced production costs for several vital economic sectors including health, tourism, commercial, agricultural, and industrial sectors.

Foreign Trade Zones/Free Ports/Trade Facilitation

The country is divided into three development areas:  Zones A, B, and C. Investments in Zone C, the least developed areas of Jordan, receive the highest level of incentives while those in Zone A receive the lowest level. All agricultural, maritime, transport and railway investments are classified as Zone C, irrespective of location. Hotel and tourism-related projects along the Dead Sea, leisure and recreational compounds, and convention and exhibition centers receive Zone A designations. Qualifying Industrial Zones (QIZs) are zoned according to their geographical location unless granted an exemption. The three-zone classification scheme does not apply to nature reserves and environmental protection areas.

Jordan’s Investment Environment Law No. 21 of 2022 governs and regulates investments within Development and Free Zones Commission (DFZC),Supervises Development and Free Zones and organizes their work. The development areas are the King Hussein Bin Talal Development Area (KHBTDA) in Mafraq, the Ma’an Development Area, the Irbid Development Area (IDA), the Dead Sea Development Zone, the Jabal Ajloun Development Zone, and the King Hussein Business Park Development Zone.

The government also created nine industrial estates in Amman, Irbid, Karak, Mafraq, Madaba, Tafileh, Salt, and Aqaba, in addition to several privately-run industrial parks, including al-Mushatta, al-Tajamouat, al-Dulayl, Cyber City, al-Qastal, Jordan Gateway, and al-Hallabat. These estates provide basic infrastructure for a wide variety of manufacturing activities, reducing the cost of utilities and providing cost-effective land and buildings. Investors in the estates continue to receive incentives until their contracts expire, and receive various additional exemptions, such as a two-year exemption on income and social services taxes, complete exemptions from building and land taxes, and exemptions or reductions on most municipalities’ fees.

Besides the six public free zones in Zarqa, Sahab, Karak, Karama, Mowaqaar, and Queen Alia Airport, Jordan has over 37 designated free zones administered by private companies under the DFZC’s supervision. The free zones are outside of the jurisdiction of Jordan Customs and provide a duty and tax-free environment for the storage of goods transiting Jordan.

The Investment Environment Law No. 21 of 2022 regulates the establishment of Development and Free Zones, and stipulates the roles, responsibilities, and rights of developers.

Under Income Tax Law No. 38, industrial activities with a local value-added of at least 30 percent are subject to 5 percent income tax rate, while other projects and activities are subject to 10 percent.

Establishments registered in the free zones enjoy zero percent tax on any activity conducted within the borders of the free zones, the export of goods and services outside the Kingdom, and associated transit trade.  They also are subject to zero percent on for imports duties, national contribution tax, and dividends tax. Profits earned on activities pertaining to the sale, disposal, or importation of goods and services within the borders of the free zones are subject to tax based on the normal income tax rates applicable to each entity, depending on its status (corporation or individual).

The Aqaba Special Economic Zone (ASEZA) is an independent economic zone not governed by the Investment Commission or the articles in the Investment Law governing investments in free zones or development zones.  It offers special tax exemptions, a flat five percent income tax, and facilitates customs handling at Aqaba Port.  In recent years, ASEZA has attracted projects, mainly in hotel and property development sectors, valued at over $8 billion.  The government continues to implement development projects aimed at attracting commerce and tourism through the Port of Aqaba.  The Aqaba New Port project became operational in 2018 and reached design capacity in 2019.  The new port, 20 kilometers south of the previous port, added four new terminals and expanded general ship berthing and marine services, in addition to adding dedicated terminals for grain silos, liquefied natural gas, phosphates, and propane.
Investors, foreign or domestic, face specific requirements in trade, services, and industrial projects in free zones. Industrial projects must be related to one of the following industries:

  • New industries that depend on advanced technology;
  • Industries that require locally available raw material and/or locally manufactured parts;
  • Industries that complement domestic industries;
  • Industries that enhance labor skills and promote technical know-how; or,
  • Industries that provide consumer goods and that contribute to reducing market dependency on imported goods.

In 2021, the government passed tax legislation to address gaps and loopholes to prevent tax leakages and ensure transparency and fairness. This included legislation on economic substance and transfer pricing and brought ASEZA under the national control for tax and customs administration.
For further details, please visit:

Performance and Data Localization Requirements

Jordan does not follow “forced localization.” However, some investment incentives are tied to deployment of local content at certain percentages.

Jordan does not have requirements for foreign IT providers to turn over source code or provide access to surveillance.

Jordan does not have a modern data protection law. In 2020, the Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship submitted a draft for the personal Data Protection Law, which supports Jordan’s digitization efforts. The Council of Ministers approved the law and sent it to the Legislative and Opinion Bureau for review, as of March 2023, the draft law is with the Lower House for review. Criminal Law, Cybercrime Law, and Telecommunication Law offer partial protection of personal data.

Real Property

The legal system reliably facilitates and protects the acquisition and disposition of property rights.  Foreign ownership of land and assets is governed by the Leasing of Immovable Assets and Their Sale to Non-Jordanian and Judicial Persons Law No. 47/2006. Under Article 3 of the law, if the buyer’s country of residence has a reciprocal relationship with Jordan, foreign nationals are afforded the right of ownership of property within urban borders in Jordan for residential purposes. According to the law, foreign nationals may rent immovable assets for business or accommodation purposes, provided that the plot of land does not exceed 10 acres and the lease is for no more than three years in duration. Interest in real property is recognized and enforced once recorded in a legal registry.

Jordan approved an investment program that grants citizenship or permanent residency of non-Jordanians in 2018. This program includes permanent residency for non-Jordanians who purchase properties worth a minimum of JOD 200,000 ($282,100) and hold the properties for 10 years.

A new Property law passed in 2019 consolidated 13 laws governing property ownership in one legislation and addressed issues such as zoning and the facilitation of ownership and leases for foreign investors.

All land plots in Jordan are titled and registered with the Jordanian Land and Survey Department; any land not titled as private property is considered government property.

Intellectual Property Rights

Jordan has a legal structure to protect intellectual property rights (IPR) and has passed several laws in recent years to comply with its international commitments. Jordan was not included in USTR’s 2023 Special 301 report but was referenced in the first section of the Report for piracy and formalities for filing documents.

Laws consistent with Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) now protect trade secrets, plant varieties, and semiconductor chip designs. Jordan’s record on IPR enforcement continues to improve, and the Jordanian government has demonstrated an increased determination to increase the effectiveness of its enforcement mechanisms. Nevertheless, improvements in legal procedures and enforcement mechanisms are still needed to address those cases of infringement and theft that persist.

Copyrights are registered with the Ministry of Culture’s National Library Department, and patents and trademarks are registered with the Registrar of Patents and Trademarks at the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Registration of patents and trademarks can be done electronically at

Jordan ratified the Patent Cooperation Treaty and the Madrid Protocol in 2007. Jordan is a signatory to World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) treaties on both copyrights and on performances and phonograms, and it has been developing updated laws for copyrights, trademark standards, and customs regulations to meet international standards. Jordanian firms may seek joint ventures and licensing agreements with multinational partners. Pirated videos, software, and television content are still significant challenges in IPR enforcement.

During the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the Jordanian government undertook a campaign of inspections and enforcement in cooperation with the National Library, a multinational network of sports channels providers, and local enforcement authorities against providers of pirated broadcast/cable signals. Enforcement authorities raided many branches and seized illegal IPTV equipment being offered for sale. In addition, the Jordan Media Commission blocked 77 websites and issued official instructions in 2022 to all media outlets in Jordan, warning against providing any content related to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 without a license. The IP Directorate of Jordan Customs, using a risk-based approach, undertook intensified efforts in 2022 to target shipments from countries where IPR violations occur.

Capital Markets and Portfolio Investment

There are three key capital market institutions: the Jordan Securities Commission (JSC), the Amman Stock Exchange (ASE), and the Securities Depository Center (SDC). The ASE launched an Internet Trading Service in 2010, providing an opportunity for investors to engage in securities trading independent of geographic location.

Jordan’s stock market is one of the most open among its regional competitors, with no cap on foreign ownership.  As of end of February 2023, non-Jordanian ownership in companies listed on the ASE represented 48 percent of the total market value, of which 37 percent for institutional investors including companies, institutions, and funds. Non-Jordanian ownership in the financial sector was 51.5 percent, 20.7 percent in the services sector and 53.7 percent in the industrial sector.

Despite recent reforms and technological advances, the ASE suffers from intermittent liquidity problems and low trading activity. No new listings have been added since 2008. Market Capitalization reached $27.5 billion at end of February 2023. ASE updates market capitalization data on a monthly basis; the market capitalization averaged $24.8 billion between January 2000 to February 2023.

The government respects IMF Article VIII by refraining from restrictions on payments and transfers for current international transactions.

Credit is allocated on market terms. The private sector has access to a limited variety of credit instruments relative to countries with more developed capital markets.

Money and Banking System

Jordan has 23 banks, including commercial banks, Islamic banks, and foreign bank branches.  Jordan does not distinguish between investment banks and commercial banks.  Concentration in the banking sector has decreased over the past decade, the assets of the largest five banks accounted for 64 percent of licensed banks’ total assets at the end of 2021.  The banking system is capably supervised by the Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ), which publishes an annual Financial Stability Report. JFSR 2021  (

Banks continue to be profitable and well-capitalized with deposits being the primary funding base.  Liquidity and capital adequacy indicators remain strong largely due to the banks’ conservative and risk averse approach, and due to strict regulations on lending, particularly mortgage lending.  The non-performing loan ratio reached 5 percent at the end of 2021 and dropped to 4.6 percent by September 2022.

Jordan has historically had low banking penetration, which the CBJ has worked to improve through its 2018 Financial Inclusion Strategy. As of end of 2020, 50 percent of people and 29 percent of women in Jordan above the age of 15 had bank accounts.

Banking Law No. 28 of 2000 does not discriminate between local and foreign banks, however capital requirements differ. The minimum capital requirements for foreign banks are JD 50 million ($70.6 million), and JD 100 million ($141 million) for local banks, although the CBJ has the authority to amend and increase the minimum capital requirement.  The law also protects depositors’ interests, diminishes money market risk, guards against the concentration of lending, and includes articles on electronic banking practices and anti-money laundering. The CBJ set up an independent Deposit Insurance Corporation (DIC) in 2000 that insures deposits up to JOD 50,000 ($71,000). The DIC also acts as the liquidator of banks as directed by the CBJ.

Foreigners are allowed to open bank accounts with a valid passport and a Jordanian residence permit.

In 2017, the CBJ established the Jordan Payments and Clearing Company JOPACC, with an aim to establish and develop digital retail and micro payments along with the investment in innovative technology and digital financial services.  The CBJ actively supports technology and is running JoMoPay, a mobile payment system and provides regulatory support to a privately-operated electronic bill payment service In 2022, JOPACC in partnership with the CBJ and commercial banks launched JOIN Fincubator (The Jordan Innovation Fintech Incubator).

In 2021, the CBJ started a process of soliciting comments from local banks over the potential introduction and licensing of digital banks, which aims to automate all front-end, back-end and middle-end operations. Jordanian banks started to introduce Neobanks as an alternative option. The CBJ is also exploring the possibility of launching the central bank digital currency (CBDC) would be linked to the Jordanian dinar and have legal standing. Full adoption and implementation could take five years.

Foreign Exchange and Remittances

Foreign Exchange

The CBJ supervises and licenses all currency exchange businesses. These entities are exempt from paying commissions on exchange transactions and therefore enjoy a competitive edge over banks.

The Jordanian Dinar (JD or JOD) is fully convertible for all commercial and capital transactions. Since 1995, the JD has been pegged to the U.S. dollar at an exchange rate of JD 1 to USD 1.41.

Other notable foreign exchange regulations include:

  • Non-residents are allowed to open bank accounts in foreign currencies. These accounts are exempted from all transfer-related commission fees charged by the CBJ.
  • Banks are permitted to purchase unlimited amounts of foreign currency from their clients in exchange for JODs on a forward basis. Banks are permitted to sell foreign currencies in exchange for JODs on a forward basis for the purpose of covering the value of imports.
  • There is no restriction on the amount of foreign currency that residents may hold in bank accounts, and there is no ceiling on the amount residents may transfer abroad. Banks do not require prior CBJ approval for a transfer of funds, including investment-related transfers.
  • Jordanian law entitles foreigners to remit abroad all returns, profits, and proceeds arising from the liquidation of investment projects. Non-Jordanian workers are permitted to transfer their salaries and compensation abroad.

Remittance Policies

Jordanian law entitles foreigners to remit abroad all returns, profits, and proceeds arising from the liquidation of investment projects. Non-Jordanian workers are permitted to transfer their salaries and compensation abroad.

Sovereign Wealth Funds

Jordan does not have a sovereign wealth fund. However, the new Investment Environment Law and Bylaw regulated the establishment of sovereign funds, as a first step to establish a Public Investment Fund.

Jordan has 22 State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) of different sizes and mandates that are fully owned by the government.  Wholly-owned SOEs employ around 11,000 people and have assets exceeding $8 billion. The government has more than 50 percent ownership in six companies, employing around 4,000 individuals, with total assets of $1.3 billion.

Most SOEs are small in terms of operations, assets, number of employees, and income. The largest SOEs are: National Electrical Power Company (NEPCO), Samra Electric Power Company, the Yarmouk Water Company, and Aqaba Development Corporation (ADC).

On average, since 2010, the private sector has maintained its share in the Jordanian economy’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Private sector contribution to GDP is around 70 percent. SOEs in Jordan exercise delegated governmental powers and operate in fields not yet open for private investment, such as managing the transmission and distribution of electrical power and water.  Other SOE activities include logistics, mining, storage and inventory management of strategic products, and some economic development activities such as Aqaba Port Company, Jordan National Petroleum Company, and Jordan Silos and Supply General Company.  The government supports these companies as necessary, for example, the government has issued and guaranteed Treasury bonds for NEPCO since 2011 to ensure continuous power supply for the country.

SOEs generally compete on equal terms with private enterprises with respect to access to markets, credit, and other business operations.  The law does not provide preferential treatment to SOEs, and they are held accountable by their Board of Directors, typically chaired by the sector-relevant Minister and the Audit Bureau.

Jordan is not a party to the World Trade Agreement (WTO) Government Procurement Agreement.

Privatization Program

In 2012, Jordan completed a multi-year privatization program, in the telecom, energy, and transportation sectors. The government has no further plans for additional privatizations.

In 2020, Jordan also adopted a new Public Private Partnership Law (PPP) to support the government’s commitment to broadening the utilization of public-private sector partnerships (PPPs) and encouraging the private sector to play a larger role in the economy.  The law does not limit PPPs to certain sectors or nationalities.
A PPP unit housed at the Ministry of Investment supports the government in identifying and prioritizing projects, provides funding resources to cover pre-feasibility and feasibility studies, and oversees tendering processes. The PPP unit interacts with private sector and potential investors through promotional activities, market sounding exercises, and to discuss proposals. Communication during the bidding phase is strictly governed by the PPPs bylaw in line with international best practices.

Once a contract is awarded, line ministries or entities will take over as main POCs for projects and their implementation. The PPP Higher Council will handle investors’ grievances throughout the project’s lifecycle. The unit has already identified a list of potential PPP projects in several sectors: water, energy, transport, tourism, education, health, environment, and Information and Communication Technology. PPPs related regulations and current investment opportunities are listed on the Ministry of Investment website

There is general awareness of responsible business conduct among both manufacturers and consumers in Jordan.

A March 2021 report by the Phenix Center for Economic Studies, a local think tank, indicated an absence of a strategic approach to the role of the business in promoting the human rights and sustainable development in Jordan. The report pointed out that there is a gap between the strategic national plans and their implementation on the ground. Although Jordan is among the first Arab countries to sign ILO conventions related to decent work, the Jordanian legislative framework regulating the right to work and other human rights still lack the adequate protection.

Jordan does not have a National Action Plan on business and human rights in line with OECD guidelines and UN Guiding Principles UNGPs. However, Jordan has adopted a Comprehensive National Plan for Human Rights in 2016 to reform laws in accordance with international standards and best practices. The second pillar is concerned with economic, social and cultural rights, which entails the adoption of policies and legislations to organize the labor market in both the public and the private sector.

The amended Companies Law of 2018 regulates the work of companies by applying the rules of corporate governance and enhancing the monitoring authorities of shareholders at public liability companies. All investors are required to conduct environmental and social impact studies.

The government, enterprises, and NGOs are taking initiatives to promote responsible business conduct principles into their practices. The authorities developed a Corporate Governance Code based on the OECD Principles of Corporate Governance and ratified human rights conventions, but further steps are needed to guarantee respect for human rights by enterprises.

Jordan Labor Watch is a non-governmental organization which contributes to improving working conditions in accordance with international labor standards. It produces reports covering labor issues and uncovers workplace violations and abuses. The program provides a comprehensive database covering indicators related to the labor market, trade unions, labor organizations, and laws and regulations governing performance. Furthermore, Jordan Labor Watch strives to present alternative policies that tackle challenges facing the Arab and Jordanian labor market.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Jordan published in 2016 a framework code of conduct for the private sector, the Jordan Integrity and Anti-Corruption Commission (JIACC) approved and embedded as part of the governance chapter in the amended Companies Law.  The Customs Department released and revised a Golden List Program, which encourages good corporate citizenship amongst trading companies and international best practice for trade across borders.

The government issues a monthly financial bulletin highlighting all revenues, including taxes and royalties paid by extractive industries. Jordan initiated discussions with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), but it has not joined.

Jordan is a signatory of The Montreux Document on Private Military and Security Companies since 2009.

Additional Resources

Department of State

Department of the Treasury

Department of Labor

Climate Issues

Jordan revised its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) and National Adaptation Plan (NAP) in 2022. The NAP focused on five key sectors:  energy, transport, agriculture, water, and health.  The NDC Action Plan seeks to scale up renewables and energy efficiency measures; adapt the water, agricultural, and health sectors to climate change impacts; and strengthen the resilience of disadvantaged groups and vulnerable ecosystems.

In 2021, the GoJ updated its Climate Change Policy (CCP) to require government departments to reflect climate change considerations in all government policies, strategies, and action plans. The goal of the policy is to build a low-carbon and climate resilient society, while supporting the implementation of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change provisions.

In 2021, Jordan also raised its NDC greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction target included from 14 percent to 31 percent compared to the baseline scenario.  The reduction target is divided into conditional and unconditional:  26 percent conditional on donor funding, 5 percent unconditional. The new GHG emission reduction target is based on a combination of national policies, programs, and actions as well as international support and finance.  The total estimated cost of the proposed mitigation actions listed in the updated NDC submission is $7.54 billion.

To support its targets and meet NDC goals, the Ministry of Environment identified pilot measures to increase energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy in the energy and water sectors.  The government deployed a Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) system to track and transact reductions in global GHG emissions, allowing Jordan the opportunity to profit from future emissions and carbon trading. The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources established Jordan’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Fund to reduce operational costs and enhance the competitiveness by providing funding for adopting energy efficiency and renewable energy. Several investments in renewables in the water sector increased renewable energy consumption from 25-29 percent.

Jordan’s Ministry of Environment issued Green Bond Guidelines in December 2021. A Jordanian company issued Jordan’s first green bond in March 2023, with International Finance Corporation (IFC) support. The proceeds of the issuance will be directed toward the development of energy-efficient buildings, renewable energy plants, and electric vehicle projects in the country.

Jordanian law and regulation promote and incentivizes water efficiency, waste management, and green building in commercial property development.

The Ministry of Environment adopted two regulations in 2005 to protect biodiversity.  Article 4 Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulation No. 37 of 2005 ensures any project will need to assess its impact on the environment including biodiversity.  Regulation No. 29 of 2005 on natural protected areas and national parks gave the authority of creating protected areas to a Technical Committee led by the Ministry of Environment, and management authority to the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN), a unique model for the region and globally.  Since that time, RSCN has gone on to establish seven protected areas throughout Jordan, covering over 1200 square kilometers.

All agricultural, industrial, commercial, housing, and tourism projects, including public sector projects, are required to obtain environmental approval from the Ministry of Environment (Article 4 Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulation No. 37 of 2005).  The process begins with a screening phase led by the Ministry of Environment and an initial EIA, to determine whether the project has a significant impact on the environment. Depending on the result, the Ministry of Environment may require a comprehensive EIA.

In 2020 Jordan established its first Marine Protected Area in the Gulf of Aqaba, governed and managed by the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority under its laws and regulations.  That same year new provisions were added to the Agricultural Law of 13 of 2015 updating the fishing regulations, including an annex with endangered marine species.

Since the passage of the 2003 Environmental Law the GoJ introduced a series of laws and regulations to strengthen environmental enforcement. In 2017 the GoJ updated the law and introduced various legal and regulatory changes including a Waste Management Framework Law which included increasing fines, obligating polluters to pay for waste handling and disposal, and encouraging privatization of the waste sector. In 2021 the Government introduced new regulations for the disposal of electronic waste and amended the Agricultural Law to address gaps in the implementation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Jordan has a small forest cover of about 86,000 hectares, representing about one percent of the total area of the country.  The forestry sector was found to be a net emitter not a sink for GHGs, and accordingly the GoJ directed its national efforts to increase forests areas and to protect existing forests through higher law enforcement, increased penalties for illegal logging, increasing urban tree plantations, adopting climate smart agriculture, and focusing on rangeland restoration.  The GoJ also developed a national plan for mitigating forests fires incidents including the identification of hazards, training, resources allocation, awareness and knowledge raising and engagement of civil society organizations.

Courts convicted over 200 people of various corruption crimes during 2022, including embezzlement, bribery, forgery, and nepotism.

Jordan was the first Middle Eastern country to sign and ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) in 2005. In 2006, Jordan issued a code of conduct for the public sector, enacted an Illicit Gains Law, and Anti-Corruption Law. Jordanian law defines corruption as any act that violates official duties, all acts related to favoritism and nepotism that could deprive others from their legitimate rights, economic crimes, and misuse of power.

In 2021, the government sent three anti-corruption bills for Parliament’s approval: a new Anti-Money Laundering Law, an amended Integrity and Anti-Corruption Law, and an amended Illicit Gains (Asset Disclosure) Law. The Illicit Gains Law requires designated officials, their spouses, and minor children to file financial disclosures with the Asset Declaration Department at the Ministry of Justice, accessible by the Jordan Integrity and Anti-Corruption Commission (JIACC). Designated officials include the prime minister, cabinet members, members of parliament, senior government officials, as well as municipal-level council members and executives.

Jordan created the IACC in 2016 through a merger of the Bureau of the Ombudsman and the Anti-Corruption Commission. In 2019, Parliament amended the JIACC Law granting the JIACC more authority to access asset disclosure filings of officials exhibiting unexplained wealth. The amendment empowers the commission to request asset seizures, international travel bans, and suspension of officials under investigation for corruption. The amendment also increases the JIACC’s administrative autonomy by enabling the commission to update its own regulations and protecting JIACC board members and the chairperson from arbitrary dismissal. In 2018, the government issued the Code of Governance Practices of Policies and Legislative Instruments in Government Departments, to improve the predictability of legal and regulatory framework governing the business environment. In addition to the Penal Code and Economic Crimes law having provisions covering corruption. In 2022, Parliament passed a bill governing the investment climate introducing incentives and preventing exploitation and corruption, and in 2023 the Competition Law was passed preventing monopoly of the market and increasing penalties for violators of provisions of the law.

A new Audit Bureau Law was enacted in 2018 to strengthen audit performance, capacity, and independence in line with International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) standards. Other related laws include the Penal/Criminal Code, Anti-Money Laundering Law, Right to Access Information Law, and the Economic Crimes Law. Jordan is not a party to the OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery.

The Audit Bureau must submit an annual report on the closing accounts of the State for each fiscal year to the Parliament containing the bureau’s views, comments, possible violations and the responsibility arising from such violations at the beginning of each ordinary session, or whenever requested to do so by the Parliament. In 2021, the bureau found 2776 violations, of which 22 were corrected.

Resources to Report Corruption

H.E. Mohannad Hijazi
Jordan Integrity and Anti-Corruption Commission (JIACC)
P.O. Box 5000, Amman, 11953, Jordan
+962 6 550 3150

Abeer Mdanat
Executive Director
Rasheed Coalition
P.O. Box 582662, Amman, 111585, Jordan
+962 6 585 2528

The threat of terrorism remains high in Jordan. Currently lone-wolf, Islamic State of Iraq and as-Sham (ISIS) inspired actors constitute the most prominent terrorist threat. The last major organized attack was in 2018, but violent extremist groups in Syria and Iraq, including ISIS and al-Qa’ida, directly or indirectly have conducted or supported attacks in Jordan and continue to plot against local security forces, U.S. and Western interests, and “soft” targets, such as high-profile public events, hotels, places of worship, restaurants, schools, and malls. Jordan’s prominent role in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS and its shared borders with Iraq and Syria increase the potential for future terrorist incidents. In 2022 Jordanian security forces thwarted several plots and apprehended suspected terrorists, all of them Jordanian, demonstrating that the threat of domestic radicalization, especially online, persists.

Demonstrations occur regularly. They may take place in response to political or economic issues, on politically significant holidays, and during international events. In general, demonstrations remain peaceful. However, some have turned violent, even when intended to be peaceful, leading security officials to intervene. Protests in late 2022 against fuel price increases resulted in property destruction and blocked roads across the country. They ended when security forces forcefully intervened after a violent individual used the protests as cover to kill four police officers.

There have been scattered reports over the past few years of damage or sabotage of construction and infrastructure projects. All were related to labor or tribal disputes. Water infrastructure in rural areas is sabotaged on a regular basis for purposes of water theft.

According to Jordan’s Department of Statistics, total number of employed persons over the age of 15 was approximately 1.3 million and the total number of unemployed persons was 425,000, suggesting a total workforce of approximately 1.7 million. Given a population of 7.4 million persons above the age of 15, the implied labor participation rate is 23 percent. Jordan’s unemployment rate as of December 2022, was 22.9 percent. Many more young Jordanians enter the labor market each year than there are jobs available, leading to disproportionately high youth unemployment.

Women and youth are underrepresented in Jordan’s labor market. In fourth quarter of 2022, the unemployment rate for women was 31.7 percent, and the labor participation rate for women was 13.6 percent. At the same time, the unemployment rate for youth (15-25 years) was 47.2 percent and the labor participation rate was 33.7 percent. The Royal Court-led Economic Modernization Vision, launched in June 2022, aims to “at least double” female labor force participation by 2032 with no further clarification on how to achieve this target.
Jordan’s workforce (employed and unemployed) is largely well-educated, with literacy rates approaching 97 percent. However, educational attainment rates among the population at large are significantly lower, especially among the older population.

Informal labor plays a significant part in Jordan’s economy. Official statistics are unavailable; however, experts estimate that informal labor may account for as much as 41 percent of Jordan’s actual workforce and 15 percent of GDP. The agriculture sector and the domestic sector rely heavily on informal employment. Jordan does not officially track the nationality of its workforce. However, 39 percent of Jordan’s total population are not Jordanian nationals (either refugees or non-Jordanian workers) and non-Jordanian workers play a significant role in Jordan’s economy, including the informal economy.

The GoJ issued agriculture bylaws to regulate the sector to the extent possible, yet the new bylaw has not been enforced since its issuance. Farm owners protested the requirement to enroll migrant farm workers in social security, citing the high cost of doing so, and the Prime Minister waived the requirement until 2023.

In August 2022, Jordan’s Civil Service Bureau conducted a study based on Department of Statistics data showing that unemployment is mainly concentrated among holders of university qualifications, and holders of general secondary school compared to community college diploma holders in technical and artistic disciplines.

Many professions may be filled only by Jordanians (28 closed professions), for example, administrative professions such as data entry, secretarial tasks and wholesale/retail business. In addition, each sector has a designated minimum percentage of Jordanian employees. The Minister of Labor (MOL) has the authority to grant exceptions to these policies. However, the Investment Environment Law addressed the issue of foreign labor employment. Economic Activities can hire non-Jordanians in administrative and technical jobs that require specialized skills at a rate of no more than 25 percent of the total number of employees, and the percentage may be increased up to 40 percent in the event it is not possible to provide Jordanian laborers for the said jobs.

Many incentives and exemptions under the Investment Environment Law are tied to the employment of Jordanians. The Jordanian Labor Law restricts layoffs under most circumstances by requiring prior notice to the MOL and a guarantee of payment of benefits and severance payments to which the severed employee is entitled. However, termination without prior notice is allowed under certain conditions. Companies may obtain permission from the MOL to reduce their staff as a result of business restructuring. The social security system provides up to six months of unemployment benefits for formally registered workers.

Local labor requirements in economic development zones and free trade zones vary based on the type of economic activity. For example, employers in qualified industrial zones are restricted in their ability to transfer employees to other sectors and have certain obligations to repatriate foreign workers at the end of their contract terms. Labor unions serve primarily as intermediaries between workers and the MOL and may engage in collective bargaining on behalf of workers. The 17 recognized unions are all members of the General Federation of Jordanian Trade Unions. Estimates union membership at less than 10 percent of the labor force.

12. U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), and Other Investment Insurance or Development Finance Programs

DFC has a current exposure of $470.9 million in Jordan from investments made between 2007-2019. Most of these are investments made by the DFC’s predecessor agency, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), for large energy and water infrastructure projects, as well as the Jordan Loan Guarantee Facility, established in partnership with USAID, to expand access to finance for small and medium sized enterprises. These projects have been completed but the loan repayment/guarantee periods will continue for several years.

In 2021, DFC issued a $10 million loan to the Near East Foundation (NEF) UK to enable the NEF to provide micro-enterprise training for refugees and host populations in Jordan and Lebanon, primarily women and youth. This is the first Development Impact Bond to specifically target refugees and will seek to mobilize private sector investment to enable vulnerable refugee populations to participate in the economy and become more prosperous alongside their host communities. At least 65 percent of the beneficiaries of this project will be women.

In 2022, DFC issued a $14 million loan to the Aqaba Digital Hub a modern data center in Jordan. The Aqaba Digital Hub will serve as a critical connection point for an internet cable system connecting Europe and Asia, while bolstering broadband speeds and reducing costs within Jordan. The additional capacity will enhance internet access for existing businesses and enable larger corporations with data-intensive operations in the country to expand operations. The cable system will provide a critical alternative to overloaded cable networks that handle an outsized portion of global internet traffic.

The U.S. Embassy continues to coordinate closely with the PPP Unit in the Ministry of Investment and others to identify other potential opportunities for DFC participation.

OPIC and Jordan signed the 2007 Investment Incentive Agreement, which serves as the legal framework for all OPIC and DFC agreements. The Ministry of Finance has drafted a Cabinet Resolution clarifying that DFC is the successor agency to OPIC and therefore entitled to the stipulated tax exemptions included in the 2007 agreement. As of April 2023, this Cabinet Resolution is still pending.

Table 2: Key Macroeconomic Data, U.S. FDI in Host Country/Economy
Host Country Statistical source* USG or international statistical source USG or International Source of Data:  BEA; IMF; Eurostat; UNCTAD, Other
Economic Data Year Amount Year Amount
Host Country Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ($B USD) 2020 $45.9 2021 $45.74
Foreign Direct Investment Host Country Statistical source* USG or international statistical source USG or international Source of data:  BEA; IMF; Eurostat; UNCTAD, Other
U.S. FDI in partner country ($M USD, stock positions) 2020 $735 2021 $159 BEA data available at
Host country’s FDI in the United States ($M USD, stock positions) 2020 $299 N/A N/A BEA data available at
Total inbound stock of FDI as % host GDP 2020 81.5% 2021 82.2% UNCTAD data available at  

* Central Bank of Jordan

Table 3: Sources and Destination of FDI
Direct Investment from/in Counterpart Economy Data
From Top Five Sources/To Top Five Destinations (US Dollars, Millions)
Inward Direct Investment Outward Direct Investment
Total Inward Amount 100% Total Outward Amount 100%
UAE 3,963 14% KSA 1,305 20.4%
UK 2,302 8.2% Palestine 668.4 10.5%
Kuwait 2,027 7.2% UAE 584.4 9.2%
Bahrain 1,970 7.0% Egypt 556.1 8.7%
France 1,729 6.2% Algeria 505.6 7.9%
“0” reflects amounts rounded to +/- USD 500,000.

*Date source: Central Bank of Jordan 2022

The Central Bank conducted a survey of foreign investment in collaboration with the Jordanian Department of Statistics for the first time since 2010.

Shaden Al-Majali
Senior Economic Specialist
+962 6 590 6317

On This Page

  2. 1. Openness To, and Restrictions Upon, Foreign Investment
    1. Policies Towards Foreign Direct Investment
    2. Limits on Foreign Control and Right to Private Ownership and Establishment
    3. Other Investment Policy Reviews
    4. Business Facilitation
    5. Outward Investment
  3. 2. Bilateral Investment and Taxation Treaties
  4. 3. Legal Regime
    1. Transparency of the Regulatory System
    2. International Regulatory Considerations
    3. Legal System and Judicial Independence
    4. Laws and Regulations on Foreign Direct Investment
    5. Competition and Antitrust Laws
    6. Expropriation and Compensation
    7. Dispute Settlement
      1. ICSID Convention and New York Convention
      2. Investor-State Dispute Settlement
      3. International Commercial Arbitration and Foreign Courts
    8. Bankruptcy Regulations
  5. 4. Industrial Policies
    1. Investment Incentives
    2. Foreign Trade Zones/Free Ports/Trade Facilitation
    3. Performance and Data Localization Requirements
  6. 5. Protection of Property Rights
    1. Real Property
    2. Intellectual Property Rights
  7. 6. Financial Sector
    1. Capital Markets and Portfolio Investment
    2. Money and Banking System
    3. Foreign Exchange and Remittances
      1. Foreign Exchange
      2. Remittance Policies
    4. Sovereign Wealth Funds
  8. 7. State-Owned Enterprises
    1. Privatization Program
  9. 8. Responsible Business Conduct
    1. Climate Issues
  10. 9. Corruption
  11. 10. Political and Security Environment
  12. 11. Labor Policies and Practices
    1. 12. U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), and Other Investment Insurance or Development Finance Programs
  13. 13. Foreign Direct Investment Statistics
  14. 14. Contact for More Information
2023 Investment Climate Statements: Jordan
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U.S. Department of State

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