Jordan has limited natural resources, and imports more than 90% of its energy needs. However, the country has ambitious plans to switch 20% of its power consumption to green energy by 2020.
With more than 300 days of sunshine each year, solar energy has fast become the focus of Jordan’s renewable energy investments. One of the largest solar farms in the Middle East and North Africa region, Shams Ma’an Power Plant, is located there.
Local key players in Jordan’s energy sector include Kawar Energy and First Solar. The former has approximately 200 solar developments to its name, while the latter engineered and constructed the US$170 million Shams Ma’an Power Plant that supplies 1% of Jordan’s electricity.
With demand running high in Jordan for innovative energy management solutions, Singapore companies can contribute in the areas of energy efficiency, energy storage, as well as solar panel maintenance.
In addition, water is scarce in Jordan. The country does not have any rivers, and is the third most water scarce country in the world. Jordan’s water scarcity problem is compounded by two issues. Firstly, its population continues to grow by 3% every year; Secondly, its agricultural sector – which uses more than half (62%) of the country’s water sources – yields a low output.
Over the years, Singapore has built up its reputation for sustainable water management. If your company has related expertise in this area, you can leverage the trusted Singapore brand and consider exporting your solutions to Jordan.
Are you a Singapore fintech firm? Jordan presents many opportunities for your company to introduce solutions.
Multiple factors are contributing to the growth of fintech in Jordan – the country has a large consumer base that is young and technologically savvy, a high internet penetration rate and a business environment that allows startups to flourish.
At the same time, Jordan has a large unbanked sector. It is estimated that only one in five (24%) Jordanians has a bank account, and most find it difficult to access credit.
There is also strong support from government and other institutions towards the development of the fintech sector. JoMoPay, a government-backed national payments system, allows Jordanians to conduct mobile banking transactions. Since 2018, Jordan’s Arab Bank has launched a US$30 million venture fund and mentorship programme targeting fintech startups. In particular, the bank is interested in technologies such as artificial intelligence, application programming interface, blockchain and distributed ledger technologies, machine learning, and robotics.
The ICT sector is a pillar of Jordan’s economy, contributing approximately 12% of the country’s GDP. The government is constantly strengthening its ICT capabilities through state-of-the-art infrastructure that supports the various industries.
A prime example would be Jordan’s National Broadbank Network. The fibre-optic, open data access network aims to deliver high-speed Internet and boost e-education and e-health public services across the country.
The government is also encouraging public-private sector collaboration in the area of digitalisation to boost productivity in key sectors such as education, energy, finance, health, and security. Against this backdrop, revenue growth for these sectors is expected to be in the range of 25-30% by 2025.
Global tech giants such as Cisco, Microsoft and Oracle are taking note and seizing business opportunities in Jordan’s ICT sector. In 2017, Microsoft opened a new Customer Service and Support Hub, making it the company’s second global setup in Jordan.
If your company has a distinct edge in digital capabilities and innovative technology, consider venturing to Jordan.
The Jordanian government launched Jordan Vision 2025 in 2015, an integrated economic and social ten-year framework that guides the country’s policies.
A key focus of the framework is to facilitate private sector investment in various industries. This includes infrastructure projects that boost economic growth, increase business competitiveness and improve public services.
In 2018, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development invested US$3.3 billion in infrastructure projects in Jordan. The five-year investment program will boost infrastructure development in sectors such as energy, municipal services, solid waste, transportation, and water.
Singapore companies can look at partnering local conglomerates to offer value-add in areas such as mechanical and electrical consultancy, operations and maintenance, project management, and the supply of equipment.
Jordan’s tourism sector is picking up rapidly. Its major cities are seeing an influx of tourists who are keen to explore cultural and historical sites such as Petra, the Jordan River, and Wadi Rum.
According to the Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority, there was a 33% year-on-year jump in the number of tourists in 2018. Meanwhile, Jerash, another popular tourist destination, saw a considerable increase in 2018 after seven years of low visitor numbers, suggesting a possible upward trend in the coming years.
With visitor arrivals in Jordan on the rise, the country is calling for more investments to be made in the tourism industry. The limited number of accommodation options available in tourist hotspots like Petra and Jerash can signal opportunities for your hospitality business.