EXCLUSIVE: Jordan PPP law ‘vital to speed up development’

Senior experts have welcomed Jordan’s new PPP bill for 2023, saying it will empower the Ministry of Investment (MoI) to issue and complete projects on time.

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Hamzeh Al-Alayani, board member of a Jordanian public-sector government investments management company, told Partnerships Bulletin: “The new law will give more powers and ownership to the new PPP unit under the MoI. The government understands that it needs to be attractive to the private sector by pushing through reforms and showing it can deliver PPP projects in a timely manner.”

Iyad Dahiyat, a former Jordan water ministry senior official, added: “The law update is good news for the kingdom and hopefully the new bill will make it easier to deliver PPP projects."

Al-Alayani said that building a PPP pipeline is critical for Jordan’s economic and societal development. “We don’t have the luxury of time, we need immediate action, which is why these laws are being pushed through… PPPs could be perfect for building on Jordan’s limited budget and resources.”

Jordan recently published its Economic Modernization Vision (EMV) 2023-33, which aims to provide one million jobs in the next 10 years and attract investments valued at about 41bn Jordanian dinars (US$58bn) through PPPs, FDI and domestic investment.

The EMV details Jordan’s National Investment Strategy, which includes sector and domain-specific investment plans, as well as the development of a viable PPP pipeline.

Among the steps taken by the Jordanian government to entice investment is the upgrade of its Public Private Partnership Law (Law No. 17 of 2020) to quicken timelines and provide clarity, and the establishment of a dedicated PPP unit under the Ministry of Investment.

Al-Alayani said the new legal update will allow for more seamless restructuring between the relevant departments, reduce any overlap between the ministries, and also enable empowered budget allocation and optimised project lifecycles.

Under the bill, the MoI is the main reference for the management and bidding of partnership projects, in coordination with the relevant government agencies. A PPP unit will be established under the ministry's umbrella.

Al-Alayani said: “Jordan needs to announce a clear PPP strategy and timeline,” adding that Middle Eastern countries could benefit from sharing their PPP knowledge and capacity to achieve benefits of scale.

The kingdom has attracted more than $9bn in investments from over 30 PPP transactions financed since 2004. By 2018, Jordan’s PPP capital stock was estimated to surpass 22% of GDP, according to the IMF.

The upcoming pipeline includes Jordan’s new administrative city, as well as projects across sectors including water desalination, clean energy, green hydrogen, fibre optics, schools, and transportation improvement, such as King Hussein Bridge and highway road tolls.