The industrial sector in Jordan is considered the most economically significant sector in terms of value-added to the national economy, the availability of trained labor, linkages with other sectors, and the level of technical competence. It comprises an array of essential sub-sectors that exhibit sophistication and dynamism which are characterized by reciprocity and complementary among the constituent sub-sectors as some of their products serve as the input to the production of others. Jordan’s industrial sector can thus be classified into eleven sub-sectors, for which considerable investment opportunities exist2.
01. Garments & Leather
2 The Jordan Chamber of Industry, 2017; the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Supply, 2017; and the Jordan Industrial Estates Company, 20174 | JORDAN INVESTMENT COMMISSION © 2017
The garments and leather sector mainly consists of the production of textiles, apparel, and leather. Its importance is attributed to its labor-intensive nature and large contribution to Jordan’s total national exports (approximately 20% of Jordan’s total industrial exports). The sub-sector has shown remarkable growth in recent years, benefiting from the advantages provided by the incentives contained in the FTAs which enable investors to access many of the world’s major consumer markets.
Jordan’s value proposition offers considerable potential to invest in textiles and in the production of fabrics and yarn and fibers; tissues; non-woven fabrics; garments manufacturing; embroideries and hand-made textiles; carpets and rugs; knitted fabrics; crocheted and knitted fabric products; garments and clothing accessories; as well as non-apparel textiles, such as towels, bed sheets, curtains, woven bags, and tents. Leather products for which Jordan offers considerable investment opportunities include shoes and shoe parts, and leather bags.
02. Pharmaceuticals & Medical Supplies
The demand for pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and medical supplies evolves along the increasing demand for new hospitals, medical centers, and healthcare facilities. Prospects in this sub-sector includes the manufacturing and production of human medicine, pharmaceutical drugs from medicinal plants, and medical supplies, such as medical gauzes, cylinders, instruments, needles, adhesive products, diagnostic imaging equipment, testing equipment, cardiology, and kidney dialysis equipment, equipment and supplies for plastic surgery, medical surgical sterilizers, medical x-ray, alpha, beta, and gamma ray equipment, orthopedic and prosthetic appliances, clinical lab diagnostic equipment, clinical laboratory equipment, organ transplant equipment, and consumables for clinical laboratories.
Jordan’s existing pharmaceutical sub-sector comprises more than 108 domestic factories, generating about 8,000 employment opportunities, covering all administrative and technical levels. Combined, its production represented about US$ 880 million in 2014, of which 75% was manufactured for exporting purposes.
Moreover, the Jordanian pharmaceutical sub-sector has accrued sound manufacturing and technical expertise. Jordan has become a center for Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) in the region and expanded its pharmaceutical exports to more than 60 countries worldwide, including Gulf countries, the US, and Europe, due to their high quality, excellent reputation and affordable prices.
The Jordanian medical device market is projected to grow at an above-average rate of 9.3% per annum; up to US$ 318 million in 2018. The pharmaceutical sub-sector in Jordan has benefited from the growth in MENA economies (mainly the Gulf countries) in recent years and is expected to do so in the near future: the growth in these economies has resulted in increased government spending on healthcare. Indeed, one of the main drivers for growth in Jordan’s healthcare sector includes the continuing high-volume medical export’s activity generated by Jordan’s domestic drug manufacturers.
03. Chemicals & Cosmetics
Jordan’s chemicals sub-sector primarily concerns the production of fertilizers. The fertilizers industry developed remarkably during the last decade and thus has become part of the global fertilizers industry. Moreover, Jordan’s close proximity to growing Asian markets, its efficient exports operations, and the increase in its chemicals production means the Kingdom is ready to capture an increased share of the global fertilizers and chemicals market. For instance, Jordan provides an excellent platform to capture global opportunities in the fertilizers market due to the enormous local availability of critical inputs to fertilizers’ production, including phosphate and potash, which are the main components for the strength of agricultural crops and the fertilizers’ industry in general.
Investment opportunities also exist for Jordan’s cosmetics sub-sector, mainly due to Jordan’s medical tourism, which generated more than US$ 1.8 billion in 2016 and is expected to continue to grow over the next years due to global ageing and the increasing expenditures on healthcare and tourism. As such, investment opportunities, such as medical tourism facilitators, health spas, wellness centers, physiotherapy, Dead Sea cosmetics, and mud processing and refining are prevalent, in order to accommodate medical tourists and cater to their needs.
04. Plastics & Rubber
Plastics and rubber products are witnessing a growing demand due to the diversity of their multi-use products that are utilized by many other sectors and sub-sectors. Moreover, they indirectly contribute to the completion of the productivity loop of many other commercial and industrial sectors. This sub-sector, plastics and rubber, is also a major source for packaging products needed by the majority of economic sectors of different activities.
Products and goods produced by Jordan’s plastics and rubber sub-sector includes tires, coating, tubes, panels, plates, rods, tapes, rolls, hoses, pipes and fittings, health plastic wares, baths and shower baths, sink tubs, house wares and plastic cosmetics, fiber glass products, toys, games and accessories, farm tools, and sponge products.
05. Engineering & Electronics
The engineering and electronics sub-sector is an important part of Jordan’s economy and has played a vital role in providing employment and improving the quality of life of Jordanians. Foreign companies based in Jordan in the electronics sub-sector are engaged in acquiring raw materials, parts, and components for the production and assembly of electrical appliances, such as computers, electronic devices, scales, calculators, medical and optical glasses, glass frames, and lenses.
06. Wood & Furniture
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Jordan’s wood and furniture is the third largest industrial sub-sector (in terms of the number of firms which rely heavily on skilled labor). Most of this sub-sector’s firms are ISO-9000 certified and have acquired other essential quality certificates, in addition to the use of the latest technology and modern equipment to meet the international quality standards.
Jordanian furniture is distinguished by the production of high quality products leading to exports to eight major markets, most of which are centered in the Gulf region. Key export products include wooden panels, foam, veneer, plywood, carpentry, molds, hand tools and structures, wooden handicrafts, cork products, straw and plaiting, and furniture of all kinds (e.g. for kitchens, home, offices, restaurants, schools, hospitals, and laboratories).
Investment opportunities exist for companies engaged in the manufacturing and production for construction purposes, such as products of glass manufacturing and silicon manufactured from silica, glass from ceramic, tile, marble, (non-)liquefied cement factories, artificial stone, ready mix concrete, sand crushers, mills, furnaces as well as cement production lines.
08. Agri-Business & Agro-Processing
The Government of Jordan (GoJ) encourages the establishment of integrated agro-industrial societies to promote areas of high value-adding, development, and innovation, and the importance of linking industrialization and sustainable development, thereby taking into account environmental, health, and safety issues. This sub-sector depends on the introduction and adoption of quality, health, and safety standards improving market access of Jordan’s processed agricultural products. This also requires the adoption of modern technologies in manufacturing to promote modernization and competitiveness of Jordan’s entire agricultural sector. The current dialogue between the GoJ and key players in the agro-processing industry is expected to boost growth and contribute towards increased competitiveness in the near future.
A number of promising investment opportunities exist for agri-business and agro-processing. This primarily concerns the development of post-harvest activities for fruits and vegetables, as well as working towards adopting an “orchard-to-market approach” that aggregates production and establishes economic packaging, storage, and marketing functions. Examples include: Children’s food production by processing food stuff (e.g. non-manufactured food stuff, vegetables, fruits, and legumes) by composing, freezing, mixing, adding healthy vitamins, and packaging and wrapping them in a specific and confined space. The utilization of date palm by-products in the manufacturing of containers and floor mats. The production of fruit concentrates (e.g. fruit jam and pickles).
09. Packaging & Paper
Jordan offers a variety of opportunities for manufactures of all types of packaging, paper, cardboard, scrapbook paper, notebooks, and rolls of industrial paper and packaging.
The mining and extraction sub-sector is considered as one of the key strategic industries in Jordan. It also contributes heavily to employing Jordanians and other nationalities. In addition, extraction is considered as one of the major exports of the country besides catering the needs of the local market of raw material.
Jordan was considered as a significant supplier of bromine, phosphate rock and phosphate-based fertilizers, and potash to the world. It was among the world’s top 10 producers of bromine, phosphate rock, and potash. It also produced modest quantities of calcium carbonate, cement, clay, crude oil, iron and steel, kaolin, limestone, natural gas, pozzolanic materials, refined petroleum products, silica sand, and zeolites, mainly for domestic use
Moreover, Jordan offers an attractive proposition for investors in the extraction and processing of copper, uranium, and oil shale.
Jordan’s crafts include the processing of wooden products as well as the production of jewelry, whereby gold or silver ore are brought for cutting, engraving, and shaping for the production of rings and bracelets, and various forms of jewelry, to be sold to jewelry stores, ateliers, and workshops.