Improving the Business-enabling Environment of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone (ASEZ)

17.01.2023

PMCG, as a subcontractor of Chemonics in the USAID Economic Reform Activity in Jordan, is implementing a new project aimed at improving the business-enabling environment of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone (ASEZ).

The objectives of the project are to assess the ASEZ’s regulatory framework governing its business-enabling environment, to select priority reform areas, and to develop an action plan to implement reforms targeted at facilitating business activity and attracting investments to the ASEZ.

With the aim of identifying priority reform areas, PMCG’s senior consultants, Mr. Mikheil Janelidze and Ms. Nino Javakhadze, in tandem with the USAID ERA team, screened the regulatory framework of the ASEZ and conducted a field mission to Aqaba. One of the main purposes of the visit was to present to the ASEZ Authority (ASEZA) and private sector representatives the reform areas selected on the basis of the regulatory screening. During the mission, the project team held high-level meetings with the ASEZA and conducted a validation workshop and key informant interviews (KIIs) to assess the regulatory and procedural framework in the selected reform areas. Together with meetings with the administration, focus group discussions were also held with businesses and investors in the ASEZ.

“The ASEZA was established to play an important role as a facilitator of trade and investment in Jordan at the beginning of the 2000s and the advanced regulatory framework was developed in this context. After two decades of the ASEZ being in operation, it is important to review the framework, procedures and practices, and to undertake BEE reforms which can attract renewed attention and interest among Jordanian and foreign investors to the ASEZ and support the achievement of the economic development goals of Aqaba and the whole of Jordan in line with the Economic Modernization Vision of Jordan. PMCG is honored to assist the ASEZA and the USAID ERA team in achieving this objective using its international hands-on experience to assist in these BEE reforms,”

said Mikheil Janelidze, Senior Consultant at PMCG.

The project is being implemented under the USAID Economic Reform Activity (ERA). The overall objective of the ERA is to support the Government of Jordan in prioritizing, implementing, and sustaining economic reforms, thereby implementing the country’s economic reform agenda.

The ERA focuses on four primary objectives: advancing economic reforms; strengthening the business-enabling environment and collaborating with anchor firms to drive export- and investment-led growth and generate jobs; increasing exports and local, regional, and international investments; and responding to emerging priorities that impact the Jordanian economy. 

PMCG, as a subcontractor to Chemonics, is contributing to the improvement of the Jordanian economy’s competitiveness and reform initiatives within the Government of Jordan (GoJ). Throughout the project, PMCG will work with the GoJ, as well as local and foreign businesses and other stakeholders in Jordan to prioritize and implement economic reforms to enable economic growth.

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