Driving Jordan’s Innovation Economy: A Conversation with Jordan’s Business Leaders
During the last decade the Jordanian economy has become a regional innovation hub, developing a robust technology sector and both raising the profile of entrepreneurship in the Middle East and drawing the notice of international investors. Partners for a New Beginning at the Aspen Institute invites you to a roundtable discussion with Jordan’s top business leaders focused on both the accomplishments and challenges of Jordan’s private sector. This event will catalyze a dialogue about the role of the private sector, and international partners, in driving economic growth, particularly in the areas of entrepreneurship and tech innovation.
Key Points of Discussion
- Jordan is well-positioned geostrategically to capitalize on regional and global markets.
- Jordan is a resource-poor country in a resource-rich neighborhood. However, its political stability and human capital offer a valuable competitive advantage in regional growth sectors such as high-tech entrepreneurship.
- The greatest challenges facing Jordan’s entrepreneurs are access to early-stage capital and quality management depth to grow early-stage ventures.
- Jordan is backed by an unwavering US commitment to its success through a number of measures: economic aid, military aid, and USAID programs dedicated to growing the country’s private sector.
- While the tech-sector is the feature of most discussions, the focus should also be on SMEs across a variety of industries as opportunities to invest in Jordan’s future.
- International organizations, including the World Bank, are working to make Jordan’s private sector more conducive to innovation, with a focus on infrastructure investment and projects that increase shared prosperity.
- Devote international and in-country resources to promote entrepreneurship-focused education as well as vocational training.
- Investments in infrastructure and renewable energy should be a top priority.
- Women compose a large portion of the country’s untapped human capital. Bringing their skills and expertise to market through education, training, and access to finance would deliver big gains for Jordan’s economy.
Dimitris Tsitsiragos: Vice President, Europe, Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa, International Finance Corporation
Daniel B. Prieto: Managing Director, Catalyst Advisory and Innovation Fellow, Center for National Policy
Usama Fayyad: Executive Chairman of Oasis 500
Karim Kawar: President, Kawar Energy and Former Jordan Ambassador to the US
A roundtable discussion with Jordan’s top business leaders focused on both the accomplishments and challenges of Jordan’s private sector.