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A vital objective for Jordan is an economy—and a private sector—that creates more and better jobs for Jordanians. Economic growth without a reduction in unemployment has been a striking feature of the Jordanian economy for decades. The Jordanian private sector has a critical role to play in addressing another of the country’s main challenges: reviving export-driven economic growth. With its small market, Jordan’s growth needs to be driven by exports and by investment, particularly export-supporting foreign direct investment.
Private sector activity is undermined, however, by constraints that limit its ability to generate jobs and to compete in international markets. The Jordan Country Private Sector Diagnostic (CPSD) outlines some of the most important challenges faced by private activity across virtually all sectors, including high business costs, policy unpredictability and investment risks, excessive labor market segmentation, and shortcomings related to market competition. Despite the constraints, opportunities abound. Jordan is a youthful country, with a growing, increasingly educated and skilled labor force. Its diverse geography and unique cultural, religious, and historical heritage has the potential to spur significant growth in tourism exports in the future. There is also great potential for a boost to innovation, productivity, and growth through the harnessing of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). The CPSD delves more deeply into three sectors—tourism, logistics, and ICT—uncovering opportunities for private sector investment, as well as policy, regulatory, and other obstacles that may hamper their growth.