Jordan Business Guide





Middle East, northwest of Saudi Arabia, between Israel (to the west) and Iraq

Geographic coordinates:
31 00 N, 36 00 E

Map references:
Middle East

total: 89,342 sq kmcountry comparison to the world: 112
land:88,802 sq km
water:540 sq km

Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Indiana

Land boundaries:
total: 1,635 km
border countries:Iraq 181 km, Israel 238 km, Saudi Arabia 744 km, Syria 375 km, West Bank 97 km

26 km

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 3 nm

mostly arid desert; rainy season in west (November to April)

mostly desert plateau in east, highland area in west; Great Rift Valley separates East and West Banks of the Jordan River

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Dead Sea -408 m
highest point:Jabal Umm ad Dami 1,854 m

    Natural resources:
phosphates, potash, shale oil

Land use:
arable land: 1.97%
permanent crops:0.95%
other:97.08% (2011)

Irrigated land:
788.6 sq km (2004)

Total renewable water resources:
0.94 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 0.94 cu km/yr (31%/4%/65%)
per capita:166 cu m/yr (2005)

Natural hazards:
droughts; periodic earthquakes

Environment - current issues:
limited natural freshwater resources; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified:none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:
strategic location at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba and as the Arab country that shares the longest border with Israel and the occupied West Bank

People and Society

noun: Jordanian(s)

Ethnic groups:
Arab 98%, Circassian 1%, Armenian 1%

Arabic (official), English (widely understood among upper and middle classes)

Sunni Muslim 92% (official), Christian 6% (majority Greek Orthodox, but some Greek and Roman Catholics, Syrian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, and Protestant denominations), other 2% (several small Shia Muslim and Druze populations) (2001 est.)

6,482,081 (July 2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 104

Age structure:
0-14 years: 34.6% (male 1,154,791/female 1,089,901)
15-24 years:19.9% (male 661,516/female 625,311)
25-54 years:36.2% (male 1,181,882/female 1,164,957)
55-64 years:4.3% (male 133,371/female 142,636)
65 years and over:5.1% (male 158,514/female 169,202) (2013 est.)

Dependency ratios:
total dependency ratio: 60.2 %
youth dependency ratio:54.5 %
elderly dependency ratio:5.7 %
potential support ratio:17.6 (2013)

Median age:
total: 22.6 years
male:22.2 years
female:22.9 years (2013 est.)

Population growth rate:
0.14% (2013 est.)

Birth rate:
26.23 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 52

Death rate:
2.8 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 222

Net migration rate:
-22.02 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 221

urban population: 82.7% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization:2.17% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population:
AMMAN (capital) 1.088 million (2009)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years:1.06 male(s)/female
15-24 years:1.06 male(s)/female
25-54 years:1.02 male(s)/female
55-64 years:0.93 male(s)/female
65 years and over:0.95 male(s)/female
total population:1.03 male(s)/female (2013 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth:

Maternal mortality rate:
63 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 15.26 deaths/1,000 live birthscountry comparison to the world: 108
male:15.89 deaths/1,000 live births
female:14.59 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)

    Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 80.3 yearscountry comparison to the world: 29
male:78.91 years
female:81.77 years (2013 est.)

Total fertility rate:
3.32 children born/woman (2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 50

Contraceptive prevalence rate:
59.3% (2009)

Health expenditures:
8.4% of GDP (2011)

Physicians density:
2.56 physicians/1,000 population (2010)

Hospital bed density:
1.8 beds/1,000 population (2010)

Drinking water source:
urban: 97.3% of population
rural: 90.5% of population
total: 96.2% of population
urban: 2.7% of population
rural: 9.5% of population
total: 3.8% of population (2011 est.)

Sanitation facility access:
urban: 98.1% of population
rural: 98% of population
total: 98.1% of population
urban: 1.9% of population
rural: 2% of population
total: 1.9% of population (2011 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
less than 0.1% (2001 est.)country comparison to the world: 140

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
600 (2007 est.)country comparison to the world: 149

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
fewer than 500 (2003 est.)country comparison to the world: 83

Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
30% (2008)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
1.9% (2009)country comparison to the world: 119

Education expenditures:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population:95.9%
female:93.9% (2011 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 13 years
male:12 years
female:13 years (2010)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
total: 29.9%country comparison to the world: 26
female:46.8% (2011)


Country name:
conventional long form: Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
conventional short form:Jordan
local long form:Al Mamlakah al Urduniyah al Hashimiyah
local short form:Al Urdun

Government type:
constitutional monarchy

name: Amman
geographic coordinates:31 57 N, 35 56 E
time difference:UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time:+1hr, begins first Friday in April; ends last Friday in October
note:Jordan remains on DST following a decision by the government to cancel a change back to Standard Time in October 2012; DST currently scheduled to end the fourth Friday in October

Administrative divisions:
12 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); 'Ajlun, Al 'Aqabah, Al Balqa', Al Karak, Al Mafraq, 'Amman, At Tafilah, Az Zarqa', Irbid, Jarash, Ma'an, Madaba

25 May 1946 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration)

National holiday:
Independence Day, 25 May (1946)

previous 1928 (preindependence); latest initially adopted 28 November 1947, revised and ratified 1 January 1952; amended several times, last in 2011 (2012)

Legal system:
mixed legal system of civil law and Islamic religious law; judicial review of legislative acts in a specially provided High Tribunal

International law organization participation:
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: King ABDALLAH II (since 7 February 1999); Crown Prince HUSSEIN (born 28 June 1994), eldest son of King ABDALLAH II
head of government:Prime Minister Abdullah NSOUR (since 11 October 2012)
cabinet:Cabinet appointed by the prime minister in consultation with the monarch; note - a new cabinet was sworn in 30 March 2013
elections:the monarchy is hereditary; prime minister appointed by the monarch

Legislative branch:
bicameral National Assembly or Majlis al-'Umma consists of the Senate, also called the House of Notables or Majlis al-Ayan (60 seats; members appointed by the monarch to serve four-year terms) and the Chamber of Deputies, also called the House of Representatives or Majlis al-Nuwaab (150 seats; 123 members elected using the single, non-transferable vote system in multi-member districts, and 27 seats elected using a closed national list system based on proportional representation; all legislators serve four-year terms); note - the new electoral law enacted in July 2012 allocated an additional 10 seats (6 seats added to the number reserved for women, bringing the total to 15; 2 additional seats for Amman; and 1 seat each for the cities of Zarqa and Irbid; unchanged are 9 seats reserved for Christian candidates, 9 for Bedouin candidates, and 3 for Jordanians of Chechen or Circassian descent
elections:Chamber of Deputies - last held on 23 January 2013 (next election NA); note - the King dissolved the previous Chamber of Deputies in November 2012, midway through the parliamentary term
election results:Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - 27 elected on closed national list to include: Islamic Centrist Party 3, Nation 2, National Union 2, Stronger Jordan 2, Ahl al-Himma 1, Al-Bayyan 1, Citizenship 1, Construction 1, Cooperation 1, Dawn 1, Dignity 1, Free Voice 1, Labor and Trade 1, National Accord Youth Block 1, National Action 1, National Current 1 (member resigned in February 2013), National Unity 1, Nobel Jerusalem 1, Salvation 1, The People 1, Unified Front 1, Voice of Nation 1; other 123; note - the IAF boycotted the election

Judicial branch:
highest court(s): Court of Cassation or Supreme Court (consists of 7 judges including the chief justice; 7-judge panels for important cases and 5 judge panels for most appeals cases)
judge selection and term of office:chief justice appointed by the king; other judges nominated by the Higher Judicial Council and approved by the king; judge tenure NA
subordinate courts:courts of appeal; magistrate courts; courts of first instance; religious courts; State Security Court

    Political parties and leaders:
Ahl al-Himma
Al-Hayah Jordanian Party [Zahier AMR]
Arab Ba'ath Socialist Party [Akram al-HIMSI]
Ba'ath Arab Progressive Party [Fuad DABBOUR]
Democratic People's Party [Ablah ABU ULBAH]
Democratic Popular Unity Party [Sa'id DIAB]
Du'a Party [Muhammed ABU BAKR]
Free Voice
Islamic Action Front or IAF [Hamzah MANSOUR]
Islamic Centrist Party [Muhammad al-HAJ]
Jordanian Communist Party [Munir HAMARNAH]
Jordanian National Party [Muna ABU BAKR]
Jordanian United Front [Amjad al-MAJALI]
Labor and Trade
National Accord Youth Block
National Action
National Constitution Party [Ahmad al-SHUNAQ]
National Current Party [Abd al-Hadi al-MAJALI]
National Movement for Direct Democracy [Muhammad al-QAQ]
National Union
National Unity
Nobel Jerusalem
Risalah Party [Hazem QASHOU]
Stronger Jordan
The Direct Democratic Nationalists Movement Party [Nash'at KHALIFAH]
The People
Unified Front
United Front
Voice of the Nation

Political pressure groups and leaders:
15 April Movement [Mohammad SUNEID, chairman]

International organization participation:

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Alia Hatough BOURAN (since 14 September 2010)
chancery:3504 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone:[1] (202) 966-2664
FAX:[1] (202) 966-3110

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Stuart E. JONES (since 21 July 2011)
embassy:Abdoun, Al-Umawyeen St., Amman
mailing address:P. O. Box 354, Amman 11118 Jordan; Unit 70200, Box 5, DPO AE 09892-0200
telephone:[962] (6) 590-6000
FAX:[962] (6) 592-0163

Flag description:
three equal horizontal bands of black (top), representing the Abbassid Caliphate, white, representing the Ummayyad Caliphate, and green, representing the Fatimid Caliphate; a red isosceles triangle on the hoist side, representing the Great Arab Revolt of 1916, and bearing a small white seven-pointed star symbolizing the seven verses of the opening Sura (Al-Fatiha) of the Holy Koran; the seven points on the star represent faith in One God, humanity, national spirit, humility, social justice, virtue, and aspirations; design is based on the Arab Revolt flag of World War I

National symbol(s):

National anthem:
name: 'As-salam al-malaki al-urdoni' (Long Live the King of Jordan)

lyrics/music:Abdul-Mone'm al-RIFAI'/Abdul-Qader al-TANEER
note:adopted 1946; the shortened version of the anthem is used most commonly, while the full version is reserved for special occasions


Economy - overview:
Jordan's economy is among the smallest in the Middle East, with insufficient supplies of water, oil, and other natural resources, underlying the government's heavy reliance on foreign assistance. Other economic challenges for the government include chronic high rates of poverty, unemployment, inflation, and a large budget deficit. Since assuming the throne in 1999, King ABDALLAH has implemented significant economic reforms, such as opening the trade regime, privatizing state-owned companies, and eliminating some fuel subsidies, which in the last decade spurred economic growth by attracting foreign investment and creating some jobs. The global economic slowdown and regional turmoil, however, have depressed Jordan''s GDP growth, impacting export-oriented sectors, construction, and tourism. In 2011 and 2012, the government approved two economic relief packages and a budgetary supplement, meant to improve the living conditions for the middle and poor classes. Jordan''s finances have also been strained by a series of natural gas pipeline attacks in Egypt, causing Jordan to substitute more expensive diesel imports, primarily from Saudi Arabia, to generate electricity. Jordan is currently exploring nuclear power generation in addition to the exploitation of abundant oil shale reserves and renewable technologies to forestall energy shortfalls. In 2012, to correct budgetary and balance of payments imbalances, Jordan entered into a $2.1 billion, multiple year International Monetary Fund Stand-By Arrangement. Jordan''s financial sector has been relatively isolated from the international financial crisis because of its limited exposure to overseas capital markets. Jordan will continue to depend heavily on foreign assistance to finance the deficit in 2013.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$38.24 billion (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 105
$37.2 billion (2011 est.)
$36.26 billion (2010 est.)
note:data are in 2012 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):
$30.79 billion (2012 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
2.8% (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 117
2.6% (2011 est.)
2.3% (2010 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$6,000 (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 147
$5,900 (2011 est.)
$5,900 (2010 est.)
note:data are in 2012 US dollars

Gross national saving:
24.7% of GDP (2012 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use:
citrus, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, strawberries, stone fruits; sheep, poultry, dairy

clothing, fertilizers, potash, phosphate mining, pharmaceuticals, petroleum refining, cement, inorganic chemicals, light manufacturing, tourism

Industrial production growth rate:
0.8% (2012 est.)

Labor force:
1.835 million (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 125

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 2.7%
services:77.4% (2007 est.)

Unemployment rate:
12.5% (2012 est.)

Population below poverty line:
14.2% (2002)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3.4%
highest 10%:28.7% (2010 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
39.7 (2007)

revenues: $6.668 billion
expenditures:$9.678 billion (2012 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:
21.7% of GDP (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 154

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
-9.8% of GDP (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 199

    Public debt:
75.5% of GDP (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32
65.5% of GDP (2011 est.)
note:data cover central government debt, and include debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data exclude debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
4.8% (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 141
4.4% (2011 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
0.3% (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 78
4.75% (31 December 2009 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
8.95% (31 December 2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 108
8.67% (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of narrow money:
$10.17 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 77
$10.26 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of broad money:
$38.61 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 72
$34.02 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$35.39 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 68
$30.81 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$27 billion (31 December 2012)

Current account balance:
$-5.37 billion (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 166
$-3.473 billion (2011 est.)

$7.898 billion (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 101
$8.018 billion (2011 est.)

Exports - commodities:
clothing, fertilizers, potash, phosphates, vegetables, pharmaceuticals

Exports - partners:
US 16.6%, Iraq 15.1%, Saudi Arabia 11%, India 10.5%, Indonesia 4.2% (2012)

$18.46 billion (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 77
$16.85 billion (2011 est.)

Imports - commodities:
crude oil, machinery, transport equipment, iron, cereals

Imports - partners:
Saudi Arabia 23.6%, China 9.4%, US 6.7%, Italy 4.7%, Turkey 4.6% (2012)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$8.829 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 75
$12.11 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Debt - external:
$19.67 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 80
$17.63 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$24.78 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$509 million (31 December 2012 est.)

Exchange rates:
Jordanian dinars (JOD) per US dollar -
0.709 (2012 est.)
0.709 (2011 est.)
0.71 (2010 est.)
0.709 (2009)
0.709 (2008)


Electricity - production:
14.64 billion kWh (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 86

Electricity - consumption:
13.54 billion kWh (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 80

Electricity - exports:
86 million kWh (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 77

Electricity - imports:
1.738 billion kWh (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 56

Electricity - installed generating capacity:
3.138 million kW (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 88

Electricity - from fossil fuels:
99.4% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 51

Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 114

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
0.4% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 144

Electricity - from other renewable sources:
0.2% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 96

Crude oil - production:
164.8 bbl/day (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 120

Crude oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 135

Crude oil - imports:
68,320 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 52

    Crude oil - proved reserves:
1 million bbl (1 January 2013 es)
country comparison to the world: 97

Refined petroleum products - production:
72,190 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 80

Refined petroleum products - consumption:
107,000 bbl/day (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 75

Refined petroleum products - exports:
0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 186

Refined petroleum products - imports:
35,600 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 85

Natural gas - production:
230 million cu m (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 77

Natural gas - consumption:
1.4 billion cu m (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 84

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 125

Natural gas - imports:
830 million cu m (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 61

Natural gas - proved reserves:
6.031 billion cu m (1 January 2013 es)
country comparison to the world: 90

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
18.55 million Mt (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 88


Telephones - main lines in use:
435,000 (2012)
country comparison to the world: 100

Telephones - mobile cellular:
8.984 million (2012)
country comparison to the world: 87

Telephone system:
general assessment: service has improved recently with increased use of digital switching equipment; microwave radio relay transmission and coaxial and fiber-optic cable are employed on trunk lines; growing mobile-cellular usage in both urban and rural areas is reducing use of fixed-line services
domestic:1995 telecommunications law opened all non-fixed-line services to private competition; in 2005, monopoly over fixed-line services terminated and the entire telecommunications sector was opened to competition; currently multiple mobile-cellular providers with subscribership reaching 115 per 100 persons in 2011
international:country code - 962; landing point for the Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG) FEA and FLAG Falcon submarine cable networks; satellite earth stations - 33 (3 Intelsat, 1 Arabsat, and 29 land and maritime Inmarsat terminals); fiber-optic cable to Saudi Arabia and microwave radio relay link with Egypt and Syria; participant in Medarabtel (2011)

    Broadcast media:
radio and TV dominated by the government-owned Jordan Radio and Television Corporation (JRTV) that operates a main network, a sports network, a film network, and a satellite channel; first independent TV broadcaster aired in 2007; international satellite TV and Israeli and Syrian TV broadcasts are available; roughly 30 radio stations with JRTV operating the main government-owned station; transmissions of multiple international radio broadcasters are available (2007)

Internet country code:

Internet hosts:
69,473 (2012)
country comparison to the world: 89

Internet users:
1.642 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 78


18 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 140

Airports - with paved runways
total: 16
over 3,047 m:8
2,438 to 3,047 m:5
1,524 to 2,437 m:2
914 to 1,523 m:1 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways
total: 2
under 914 m:
2 (2013)

1 (2012)

gas 473 km; oil 49 km (2013)

total: 507 km
country comparison to the world: 111
narrow gauge:507 km 1.050-m gauge (2008)

total: 7,203 km
country comparison to the world: 144
paved:7,203 km (2011)

Merchant marine
total: 12
country comparison to the world: 107
by type:cargo 4, passenger/cargo 6, petroleum tanker 1, roll on/roll off 1
foreign-owned:2 (UAE 2)
registered in other countries:16 (Bahamas 2, Egypt 2, Indonesia 1, Panama 11) (2010)

Ports and terminals
major seaport(s): Al 'Aqabah


Military branches
Jordanian Armed Forces (JAF): Royal Jordanian Land Force (RJLF), Royal Jordanian Navy, Royal Jordanian Air Force (Al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Malakiya al-Urduniya, RJAF), Special Operations Command (Socom); Public Security Directorate (normally falls under Ministry of Interior, but comes under JAF in wartime or crisis) (2013)

Military service age and obligation
17 years of age for voluntary male military service; initial service term 2 years, with option to reenlist for 18 years; conscription at age 18 suspended in 1999; women not subject to conscription, but can volunteer to serve in noncombat military positions in the Royal Jordanian Arab Army Women's Corps and RJAF (2013)

Manpower available for military service
males age 16-49: 1,674,260
females age 16-49:1,611,315 (2010 est.)

    Manpower fit for military service
males age 16-49: 1,439,192
females age 16-49:1,384,500 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually
male: 73,574
female:69,420 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures
4.65% of GDP (2012)
country comparison to the world: 17
4.64% of GDP (2011)
4.65% of GDP (2010)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international
2004 Agreement settles border dispute with Syria pending demarcation
    Refugees and internally displaced persons
refugees (country of origin): 2,034,641 (Palestinian refugees (UNRWA)) (2013); 63,037 (Iraq) (2012); 593,186 (Syria) (2014)

Information provided by CIA - The World Fact Book

Doing Business in Jordan 2014



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Information provided by The World Bank Group