MSME development policies and programmes in Jordan

Jordan economy is driven by the small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) that represent 98% of private sector entities. The main challenges for SMEs in Jordan are the access to new markets, lack of skilled labors, absence of business planning, high competition from price-competing imported goods, difficult access to financing and low deployment of new technologies. The Jordanian government issued several regulations to support SMEs like the Ministry of Industry and Trade law (18/1998), the Chamber of Industry law (10/2005), Jordan investment board law (18/1991), the Investment law (68/2003), JEDCO law (33/2008) and Development and employment fund law (33/1992). The kingdom of Jordan formed several public and private financing organizations (i.e. JEDCO, NAFES, Development and Employment Fund, Jordan Investment Board and the Jordan Loan Guarantee Corporation and other private sector organizations such as micro and SME finance institutions). Since 2016, JEDCO has partnered with international organization to address issues for SMEs and start-ups by producing three “how to” guides 1) Reinforcing SME policy coordination and public-private dialogue, 2) effective monitoring and evaluation of SME and entrepreneurship initiatives and 3) SME statistics and entrepreneurship indicators. Jordan receives also ongoing support from international donors, and notably the European Union in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship.

MSMEs supporting measures to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic crisis

The kingdom of Jordan has taken several measures to mitigate the impact of the COVID19 on SMEs such as tax payment deferral, social assistance and interest cuts, liquidity, support to tourism sector. JEDCO launched two programmes to SMEs with zero interest, a grace period of five years and finance facilitation programme for SMEs with the guarantee of the Jordan Loan Guarantee Company. The Ministry of Finance announced a host of measures to SMEs such as the postponement of 70 percent of the value of customs duties for selected companies and reduction of social security contributions from private sector establishments. The Central Bank of Jordan reduced most policy rates by 100 basis points and announced a package of measures by allowing banks to postpone the credit facilities instalments and pumping additional liquidity. READ MORE

Small Business Act Coordinator and MED MSMEs’ working group

The National Small Business Act coordinator – SBAC in Jordan is Ms Rawan Abu Aboud, Investment Evaluation Officer at JEDCO. The SBA Coordinator has formed the national access to finance and SME internationalisation working groups to collaborate to the implementations of the Programme’s objectives. The working groups are composed of Ministry of Industry and Trade, Jordan Loan Guarantee Corporation, JAD for Innovative Finance, The Microfinance Association, CRIF Jordan, Jordan Innovation Fund, JEDCO, NAFES, Amman Chamber of Industry, and Jordan exporters Association.

The Working Groups (WG)

In order to ensure that the regional level activities integrate the national priorities on the two specific topics and translate into impact at the country level, the Programme implementation will rely on the establishment - under the coordination of the SBA Coordinators - of at least two working groups in each of the partner countries, one for MSME Access to Finance and one for MSME Internationalisation.

These working groups are formed of relevant policy makers, regulatory bodies, public agencies, representatives of the private sector and – when possible – representatives of the national legislative body; the EU Delegation representatives and relevant development partners will be invited to participate to the working sessions. The working groups will not exceed 15 members of which at least one third will be women.

The working groups are responsible for:

Providing a consultative input on the technical deliverables.

Assisting in the production of the national roadmaps for implementing the tools developed at regional level.

Facilitating the collection of relevant programme information at national level.

Facilitating the mobilization of stakeholders, programmes, resources and instruments that can gear up the implementation of the road maps at country level.