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 Jordanian Action for the Development of Entreprises

The Belgian-Italian Chamber of Commerce is taking part to an ambitious, as much as important, three-year project in Jordan to improve the technical and management capacity within the SMEs environment and increase the private sector competitiveness.

Today, Jordan continues to face increasing economic, political and inclusiveness challenges which are likely to shape its future development over the next years. Despite its relative stability, Jordan has always been subject to external shocks and spillovers of regional instability. In the last decades, in fact, Jordan has hosted refugees fleeing away from the devastating conflicts which affected the area, but the Syrian crisis has worsen a situation, with one of the highest density of refugees per inhabitants after Lebanon. In addition, Jordan faces internal constraints as its economic system, and in particular the private sector, is not providing a strong basis for sustained economic development, which could counterbalance the external pressure.

The efforts and the importance of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan as a key actor in the region have always been recognized by the European Union: nowadays they are solid partners in foreign and security policy in order to achieve a stronger regional stability. The EU is one of Jordan's biggest trading partners. It is Jordan's main source of imports, ahead of Saudi Arabia and China, with EU imports to Jordan totalling €2.6 billion in 2008. The EU is the 7th main export destination for Jordanian products. The EU-Jordan Association Agreement provides for gradual trade liberalisation and will progressively establish a free trade area between the EU and Jordan.

In this framework, the project “JADE – Jordanian Action for the Development of Enterprises” aims to increase the opportunity for employment and income generation, particularly for women and youth, intervening on market failures and promoting innovative and sustainable private sector development.

The partnership, composed by regional and international organizations (B&S Europe, Belgian-Italian Chamber of Commerce, Jordan University of Science and Technology and Leaders Organization), elaborated a project which will develop on a double track: locally and internationally.

The principal tool used to implement this project will be a voucher system awarded by 25 Business Development Services providers: the vouchers will cover part of the expenses that 100 Jordanian enterprises will spend in business development services, training courses, expos and B2B meetings. Moreover the project will also work local business incubators in order to support the startups, through the realization of 10 workshops and demo days. 

The Belgian-Italian Chamber of Commerce will act both on local and international level. In fact, locally it will share its professionalism and experience in order to improve Jordan’s Chambers of Industry capacity. An intense cooperation will lead to identify existing opportunities of linkages within each of the industries targeted by the project and to organize 15 local specific expos and B2B meetings. On the international level, the Belgian-Italian Chamber of Commerce will support Jordan’s enterprises in participating to international expos in order to promote business cooperation and increase their growth.

From the 6th to the 9th of March the first organizational project meeting among the partners took place in Amman (Jordan) to discuss all the details about the implementation of this project and to plan the activity for the next three years. During the meeting days, the project partners met the EU delegation in Jordan, selected the Project Implementation Team members and visited the incubator centre at the Jordan University for Science and Technology in Irbid.