Jordan targets ‘hub’ status

Dubai isn’t alone in its drive to establish an IT-hub to serve the region. A delegation from Jordan has staked out 60-metres in hall eight to market the country’s investment environment and software development skills.

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By  Greg Wilson Published  October 13, 2001

Dubai isn’t alone in its drive to establish an IT-hub to serve the region. A delegation from Jordan has staked out 60-metres in hall eight to market the country’s investment environment and software development skills.

“For Jordan IT companies the Gulf market is a huge opportunity and with Gitex being the most visited trade show in the region we thought it was essential to have good participation,” says Karim Kawar, chairman of Information Technology Association of Jordan (Intaj), in an interview just prior to Gitex.

Since 1999, His Majesty King Abdullah has been attempting to create an attractive environment for foreign investment and that could support a strong homegrown IT environment.

In the last 24 months there has been the introduction of competition in the telecommunications infrastructure, a big reduction in software piracy, a large investment in IT education, and the introduction of free market reforms.

For the last 12 months the government has also been migrating towards the Internet. The majority of implementation work is due to begin early in 2002.

“His majesty decided to take on IT as one of the key drivers for the development of the country. Jordan relies on its human resources to actually develop and create something for itself. Our human resources are key for our software market,” says Dr. Fawaz Hatim Zu’bi, minister, Ministry of Information & Communications Technology.

According Kawar, The country has a lot to offer both corporates looking for development work and companies looking for solutions.
At Gitex today there is a wide range of Jordanian software solutions on display.

“This is where Jordan sees a strategic opportunity, that our IT industry and the large growing market, regardless of recent set backs. Jordan is also developing an edge, it’s not just cutting code, we’re innovating… it’s putting in know-how, there is a lot of technology transfer taking place,” explains Kawar.
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