Intelligent CIO Middle East Issue 74 - Page 50

COUNTRY FOCUS : JORDAN
BPO is also an inclusive industry that employs thousands of Jordanian youth , notably women in underserved communities , Belhaj said .
According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitoring report , Jordan ’ s female to male ratio went from 0.26 in 2016 to 0.59 in 2019 , an improvement of 127 % in only three years .
A robust infrastructure complements Jordan ’ s strategic location . Reliable Internet , mobile connectivity and Jordan ’ s extensive energy sector keep the power supply reliable , ensuring that ICT companies connect and serve clients without interruption .
Amman , Capital of Jordan
Ahmed Hanandeh , Jordan ’ s Minister of Digital Economy and
Entrepreneurship . the influx of refugees , geopolitical issues and the ongoing global pandemic .
“ Jordan ’ s greatest resource has always been its youth talent ,” said Belhaj .
The country has a young , highly skilled population , is bilingual in English and Arabic with a neutral accent , technologically savvy , highly educated , and eager to work young adult population at competitive wages .
More than 50 % are under the age of 24 , with 22 % are holding degrees in IT , computer science , and engineering .
Belhaj said that the World Bank is supporting Jordan as it undertakes structural reforms to improve the business environment and increase private sector investments .
“ The potential of BPO activities in Jordan is still largely untapped and may significantly contribute to increasing export revenues . Jordan is becoming a regional BPO centre with many FDIs relocating to the country .”
Belhaj pointed out how the past decade has seen investments from Amazon , Webhelp , Aspire , Microsoft and others , while local companies , like Crystel , for instance , are keen to expand .
Coupled with its vibrant , diverse and rich culture , Jordan offers a family-friendly and internationally open environment for businesses and visitors alike .
In a separate panel discussion , representatives of Crystel , Webhelp , Estarta , and Aspire echoed similar advantages of doing business in Jordan ’ s digital economy despite obstacles faced during the pandemic .
The World Bank estimates that Jordan ’ s real GDP is projected to grow at 1.9 % in 2021 , as economic indicators suggest an upswing in private demand while global demand remains supportive . Amanzon ’ s Mouchawar said that since Amazon entered the region in 2017 after the acquisition of souq . com , the company has positioned Jordan to be a regional hub . “ We undertook many of our key activities , such as technical and Machine Learning development , device development such as Amazon ’ s voice over for Alexa in Arabic , operational excellence , and customer service here .”
“ It showcased to many of our global colleagues the value that Jordan can provide in the region and for the global workforce of Amazon ,” Mouchawar said . After starting with a couple of hundred employees in 2017 , Mouchawar said Amazon ’ s workforce in Jordan has more than doubled to 1,200 , with plans to increase to 2,300 in the next couple of years .
Jordan has been one of the region ’ s innovation hubs for more than a decade . Its thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem has produced high-growth start-ups , several of which have already scaled regionally and become targets for acquisition .
Jordan ’ s government is keen to build on these successes – including a highly skilled talent pool , reliable ICT infrastructure , and an attractive investment climate . Jordan Source seeks to further ease and facilitate the investment process for regional and international businesses looking to capitalise on the Kingdom ’ s ITO and BPO industries . p
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