Jordan Competitiveness Program

The USAID Jordan Competitiveness Program (USAID JCP) is designed to advance competitiveness in select knowledge economy sectors and, in doing so, generate employment, foreign direct investment and exports. Learning from the successes of past programs and their limitations, USAID JCP is taking a more focused approach across fewer sectors to create a real competitive advantage for Jordan. With its comprehensive sector development strategies, the Program anticipates achieving three goals: 40,000 new jobs, $700 million in foreign direct investment, and a 25 percent average increase in exports in targeted sectors.

The USAID Jordan Competitiveness Program (JCP) works with policymakers, business associations, and the private sector to: 1) draft and advocate for enabling legislation and regulation; 2) leverage these policy interventions to stimulate exports and attract foreign direct investment, especially to Jordan's specially designated development zones; and 3) ensure that these investments result in employment opportunities for Jordanians and, where appropriate, other residents of the Kingdom.

To these ends, JCP works closely with other USAID programs and relevant Government of Jordan entities to identify investment opportunities made possible by the Jordan Compact—which includes, among other stipulations, relaxed rules of origin for Jordanian exports to the European Union. By coordinating closely with the Compact's Program Management Unit (PMU), which is housed at the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, JCP seeks to add value to the current efforts of the broader donor community.

Project Objectives

The project seeks to achieve three major goals which are:-

1-Workforce Development: improve workforce readiness in targeted clusters through an approach that strengthens Career Development Centers, establishes Centers of Excellence, and creates internships and training programs.

2-Access to Finance: increase access to finance by creating awareness, developing programs to build capacity of firms to offer and access financing, and supporting the development of innovative public private partnerships (PPPs) to create new sources of financing.

3-Research & Development (R&D): increase the efficacy of the process from R&D through commercialization to capture innovation.

Project Activities

1- Holding number of workshops to identify priority industrial sectors and high-demand products for export, as well as key incentives and policy items vital to facilitate these products’ access to markets and boost their competitiveness. As a result, the USAID Jordan Competitiveness Program and Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Supply unveiled five in-depth profiles of African markets to which Jordanian firms could export their products and services. The profiles, which featured Ethiopia, the Ivory Coast, Kenya, South Africa, and Tanzania.

2- Partnership with an international medical tourism firm to build the capacity of selective Jordanian healthcare, tourism and hospitality stakeholders.

3- Expansion of the Home Care sector in Jordan through a pilot project with the Jordan University of Science and Technology and King Abdullah University Hospital.

4- Concluding several days boot-camps with the aim of enhancing the creation of new startups and facilitating their access to follow-on investment opportunities, while providing them with the seed investment they require to kick off their projects. The bootcamps come as part of a series of activities aimed at orienting the entrepreneurial community in Jordan toward the high-value fields of Clean & Sustainable Technologies, Healthcare Technologies, Hardware and Electronics Design, and Urban Solutions. Simultaneously, the project aims to change the low-engagement of the targeted sectors - especially by youth, women, students, and underprivileged communities - by providing them with the right tools and preparation to engage both actively and effectively.

5- Assisting Jordan with its accession to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). The Kingdom became the 152 member of the WIPO-administered intellectual property treaty. The PCT is an international agreement that is administered by WIPO to facilitate the acquisition of patent rights in member states while streamlining the process for patent applications. The treaty helps applicants secure international patent protection for their inventions, helping patent offices with their patent-granting decisions and facilitating public access to a wealth of technical information relating to those inventions. By filing one international patent application using the PCT route, applicants can simultaneously seek protection for an invention in all member countries.

6- JCP engages private sector stakeholders in a collaborative process to develop and implement growth strategies. Strategies in the sectors capitalize on Jordan’s competitive advantages and use global best practices from around the world. As a result of comprehensive diagnostic analyses, a development strategy was created that focused on three opportunity sectors: Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Clean Technology (CT) and Healthcare and Life Sciences (HLS). JCP’s experience demonstrates that sector competitiveness can be increased through an integrated approach that leverages four program approaches: Supportive Enabling Environment, Workforce Development, Access to Finance, and Research & Development (R&D).

15th October 2018
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