Amman, Jordan, October 24, 2019–For the first time, Jordan has been selected this year among the top 3 business climate improvers by jumping an unprecedented 29 ranks in the 2020 Doing Business rankings, thanks to a series of economic reforms enacted over the past year, according to the World Bank Group’s Doing Business 2020 report.
For the past year, Jordan implemented important economic reforms, vaulting it to 75th out of 190 economies in the Doing Business rankings for 2020, a significant improvement from last year’s 104th ranking. This marks Jordan's highest ranking in over a decade.
“Jordan has faced unparalleled challenges over the past few years, which have put a strain on our economic growth,” said Mohamad Al-Issis, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation and State Minister for Economic Affairs. “In order to provide a stimulating ecosystem for our private sector to reach its potential, we have implemented a series of reforms to encourage risk-taking and streamline processes. The outcomes of structural changes are often not immediately tangible, but the country has made an inspiring stride in its Ease of Doing Business rank this year. Jordan has jumped an unprecedented 29 points. We expect and demand from ourselves more leaps in our reform process in the years to come.”
“It is encouraging to see that Jordan is adopting international best practices in business regulation, laying the foundation for private sector-led growth,” said Saroj Kumar Jha, World Bank Mashreq Regional Country Director. “We look forward to the continuation of this reform momentum for strong growth and job creations, especially for women and youth.”
One of Jordan’s key reforms was to improve the legal rights of borrowers and lenders. The country implemented a unified legal framework for secured transactions and launched a geographically-centralized, unified and notice-based collateral registry. As part of reforms in this area, Jordan’s private credit bureau improved access to credit information by providing credit scores to banks, financial institutions, and borrowers. This helped Jordan score 95 on 100 in the Doing Business category related to the ease of getting credit and ranked the country 4th, on par with the United States and Australia.
"The fact that Jordan is this year among the world's top-10 reformers is a milestone," said Dalia Wahba, IFC Manager of the Levant. “The reforms are highly conducive to a more effective business environment as they help cut red tape. Through these efforts, officials are stimulating private-sector-lead growth, improving competitiveness and efficiency, and making Jordan a more attractive destination for investors."
In another key reform, Jordan also amended its insolvency law to help unviable firms exit the market efficiently and allow viable but financially distressed firms to reorganize their operations and restructure their debt.
Finally, Jordan implemented electronic filing and payment for labor taxes and other mandatory contributions, reducing the time businesses spend on complying with fiscal obligations. The number of payments that businesses need to file every year was also cut to nine from 23.
Going forward, Jordan can achieve more improvements, focusing on business regulation, including dealing with construction permits (138th) and starting a business (120th).