The Business Year

Stability in a region marred by instability, a well-educated and modern workforce, and a focus on technological adoption are the prime reasons why regional and international organizations choose to set up shop in the Hashemite Kingdom.

Fadi Ma’ayta

General Manager, Philip Morris Investments Jordan (PMJ)

PMJ sees Jordan as an excellent platform for its operations in the Arab world. It is the only factory in the Arab world owned 100% by Philip Morris. The country offers us the right infrastructure in terms of safety, security, and technology, as well as a comfortable lifestyle. The clarity and stability of the laws and regulations in Jordan is another plus. We have developed an excellent relationship with the government over the years. The economy has struggled but Jordan has always overcome its economic challenges. Another important factor is the quality of human resources; the level of education here is extremely high where companies can source great, talented, and reliable Jordanians to build their capabilities. We are extremely pleased to have increased the percentage of our local workforce to more than 97%. PMJ’s strategy is to provide better alternatives to cigarettes. For this purpose, PMJ is developing a portfolio of smoke-free products and is assessing their impact with rigorous scientific methods. One of the alternative products we provide is IQOS, a heated tobacco product. IQOS heats tobacco rather than burning it and this results in a significant reduction in the formation of harmful constituents as compared to cigarettes. This innovation comes out of 10 years of research that cost the company over USD6 billion to date. Over 400 researchers and scientists worked on it. IQOS is the first of these products which is already available in 44-plus markets around the world and is experiencing great success globally, and we hope its popularity will also spread in the Arab world.

Michael Orfaly

CEO, PwC Jordan

PwC, one of the world’s leading professional services firms, has been present in Jordan for nearly 30 years, providing services to multinational and local clients across the country. Underpinned by a standout digital platform in the region, we advise a wide range of clients including government, energy, large family-owned companies, high-profile local businesses, industrial and service companies, and global organizations. Three years ago, we launched our Middle East Assurance Center of Excellence in Jordan. Additionally, we have developed our robotic process automation, AI, and data analytics capabilities in Jordan. During the past few years, we have grown from 120 to 400 people, and are aiming to reach 500 in 2020. Out of our 400 employees, 50% are females. Jordan is rich with human talent, particularly in the technology and finance sectors. Additionally, reliable systems and infrastructure are equally important, and Jordan is renowned for this; there is clarity in terms of operational infrastructure as well. Jordan’s strategic location is also a key factor to compete as a regional hub. The government’s extensive efforts to develop the IT sector have been successful and if properly marketed, it can potentially position Jordan on the global map. In Jordan, we will continue to invest in human capital and in emerging technologies. Jordan enjoys excellent relationships with countries regionally and globally. Those relationships should be expanded into economic partnerships via creating a common interest and joint investments.

Alaa Saoudi

Regional Manager, Alaa Saoudi

2018 was a successful year for Aramex in all aspects as we started implementing our new strategy, which focuses on protecting the strength and viability of our core business, developing leading digital solutions and service offerings, and expanding our geographical reach and vertical penetration. As a result of the continued boom in the global e-commerce market, our courier services and e-commerce business continued to grow by double digit. We expanded our warehousing capacity in Jordan by 5,000sqm, a 100% increase over 2017. We moved our operations to the new free zone in the Amman airport area. Jordan is an open market, and the government is committed to create an accommodative business environment and increase trade. Jordan’s banking segment is robust and mature in terms of transfers and there is free hand in terms of finance. Moreover, sustainable growth is a priority for Aramex, and we are doing this through investments in technology, digital transformation, and green energy. Jordan is aiming to source 20% of its energy requirements from solar by 2020, and we are proud to support these efforts through solar energy projects and an electric car fleet. Jordan has played an important role in connecting the Gulf market to Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Turkey, but this position has faced several challenges through the closure of the Jordan-Syria border. We hope that the introduction of Mafraq dry port will further boost Jordan’s infrastructure capacity.



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