Co-organized by the Federation of GCC Chambers and the Jordan Chamber of Commerce
The Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting (GOIC) participated in the second version of the Gulf-Jordanian Economic Communication Forum organized by the Federation of GCC Chambers (FGCCC) in collaboration with the Jordan Chamber of Commerce. The Forum was entitled “Enhancing the prospects of Jordanian-GCC cooperation for better growth and integration”, and it aimed at discussing developing trade and investment relations between the two parties. The Secretariat-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council partook in the forum, in addition to many officials, businessmen and investors from Jordan and the GCC.
His Excellency Dr. Ali Hamed Al-Mulla, Assistant Secretary General for Industrial Projects at GOIC delivered a presentation to highlight investment opportunities for industrial SMEs in Gulf countries. He started by examining the current status of GCC industrial sector in terms of factories and investments. He stressed that the large expansion of this sector’s base throughout the past five years reflects the importance of manufacturing, a key factor of economic development in the region.
Dr. Al-Mulla said that according to GOIC’s data, there are approximately 17000 industrial facilities in the Gulf, with an annual growth rate of about 5% over the last five years. The labour force counted 1.6 million workers, a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of about 6.5% over the last five years. As to cumulative investments, they reached 394 billion USD, a CAGR of approximately 5% during the same period.
Dr. Al-Mulla added that SMEs represent more than 90% of the companies in the region, and that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are leading in investments in manufacturing-related industries. He underlined that the current share of knowledge-based and innovation manufacturing of the GDP in GCC countries is between 9 and 14%, the target being 25% by 2025 for some states.
The Assistant Secretary General went through the results of the GCC industrial map study prepared by GOIC and gave examples of missing food industries like: processing and preserving of poultry meat, processing and preserving of fish, cooking oils, dairy concentrates, raw sugar and ready-made foods. In addition, Dr. Al-Mulla mentioned missing chemical industries such as: production of catalysts, production of aluminium chemicals, production of water treatment chemicals, activated carbon and building chemicals, as well as missing industries in iron products, and non-metallic minerals, aluminium, synthetic rubber and polymers.
Furthermore, Dr. Al-Mulla introduced a number of opportunities, notably PET bottle recycling, production of composite plastic sections, manufacture of load test strips, production of dielectric moulds for concrete, production of auto parts from compressed aluminium casting and flexible rail fastening parts.
Participants recommended transforming challenges that the private sector faces into incentives and opportunities to strengthen Jordanian-Gulf economic integration. Here are their detailed recommendations:
1. Studying the proposition to have Jordan Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Iraqi Chambers join the FGCCC.
2. Benefiting from available advantages and resources to invest in integrated productive projects between Jordan and GCC countries, particularly in vital sectors, and preparing joint studies between the FGCCC and the Jordan Chamber of Commerce.
3. Cooperating with Jordan Investment Commission to market and introduce investment opportunities in Jordan and promote 120 Jordanian investment projects in GCC countries.
4. Encouraging exchange between industrial and commercial institutions and companies through specialised exhibitions held in Jordan and Gulf countries by specialised commercial delegations to contribute to marketing and identifying available products and advantages.
5. Developing a road map of investment projects between the two parties in order to achieve economic integration between the Gulf and Jordan.
6. Connecting railways between the Gulf, Jordan, Iraq and Yemen.
7. Supporting Gulf and Jordanian entrepreneurs in spreading entrepreneurship culture and events through programs and visits at the Gulf, Arab and international levels.
8. Adopting and supporting youth initiatives by national federations and chambers.
9. Putting together clearer studies for Arab countries that need reconstruction, facilitations and execution guarantees, and inviting sovereign funds to support reconstruction in relevant countries.
10. Exchanging information and statistics about production, commerce, exports and available cooperation opportunities, joint investment fields and available projects for joint investments in the fields of industry, tourism, transport, pharmaceuticals, ICT and others. The exchange of information includes incentives in accordance with laws and legislations, researches and studies to market key strategic goods, a unified directory of companies, institutions and products. This will contribute to strengthening and facilitating cooperation, particularly in the areas of expertise exchange and technical and administrative training.
11. Asking Gulf countries to facilitate the visa issuing process for Jordanian business owners, in addition to visas of drivers working on transport routes, and developing commercial transport means and methods, discussing goods and trucks insurances and facilitating the entrance of trucks to Gulf markets through customs ports.
12. Following-up on the mutual agreements between the Jordanian private sector and Gulf countries that resulted in joint business councils, and holding regular meetings between private sectors in Jordan and the Gulf.
13. Exchanging visits between commercial and economic delegations in order to shed light on the exporting and production capacities and identifying the needs of the two markets.
14. Strengthening the links between Jordanian and Gulf electronic networks.
15. Issuing a joint annual report between the FGCCC and Jordan Chamber of Commerce to highlight the latest developments, investment opportunities and attractive incentives from both parties, in addition to evaluating the first and second economic forum.
16. Asking Jordan Chamber of Commerce and the FGCCC to invite their members to create innovation and digital economy incubators bringing together young intellectuals and business owners to stimulate SMEs in the Gulf and Jordan.
17. Launching “Entrepreneurship brings us together”, an internet portal allowing Jordanian and Gulf entrepreneurs to get to know leading projects willing to expand and create alliances. This initiative classifies them according to sector, geographic location, size of facility, age of facility, capital, annual income and growth opportunities.