|Iraqi protocol compensations drag on|
* Compensations accruing to Jordanian businessmen for contracts honored with Iraq prior to the war of March 2003 totaled over JD 250 million, according to Dr Akram Karmoul, director of the National Protection of Investors Association.
Despite the presented documents of financial claims to the Ministry of Finance in Jordan, the latter is pushing for a settlement of half the value single payment in order to wrap up the commercial protocol folder, Karmoul announced. The businessmen have refused to accept the offer and indicated that they might resort to court as a final option.
* Membership at the Restaurants and Confectionary Association reached 1700 members, Mr Raed Hamadah, president of the Association announced.
He said the Association’s committee successfully safeguarded its members against the latest Sales Tax hike, campaigned to increase awareness on tax regulations and highlighted, through seminars, the benefits of health insurance and health education among its members.
IRADA provides more job opportunities
* The latest publication by IRADA, the Economical and Social Productivity Enhancement Program indicates that it has approximately provided 3400 job opportunities in a step that led to a decrease in poverty and unemployment especially in the more remote areas of Jordan.
Operating under the Ministry of Planning, IRADA’s latest contribution to 1137 projects spread across the Kingdom is estimated to have reached JD 19 million in various sectors.
Lower bread and coffee prices
* The Ministry of Industry and Trade called on all bakeries in the Kingdom to lower the floating prices of flour products—as the price of imported flour dropped from JD 99.3 per ton to JD 98.48 and local flour from JD 123.2 to JD 122.13 per tone.
A ministry official said the aim is to lower the price of bread to JD 0.16 per kilo in order to offset the raised fuel bill.
In the same vein, coffee traders were called upon to lower their prices and settle for reasonable profits in view of exaggerated prices of coffee in some stores reaching to JD 8 per kilo.
Favorable profit ratio to oil prospectors
* Four international oil companies from America, Croatia and Russia are anxiously trying to secure drilling rights in Jordanian areas like Al Safawi, the Northern Heights, Al Azraq, Al Sarhan Al Shamali, Al Janobee and Al Ja’afar. To lure investors, the government adopted "a production sharing agreement," that grants prospecting oil companies a lucrative profit-sharing ratio. A Natural Resources Authority (NRA) official, Munther Akroush said NRA intends to promote local and international campaigns to attract oil and gas prospecting companies. He pointed out that there are two areas that are currently undergoing development, utilization and prospecting operations, one in Al Risha area by the National Petroleum Company and the other in the Dead Sea region by an American company.
Incentives lead to more investments
* An increase in the level of investment in Jordan that reached JD 127 million during the first quarter of 2004 is attributed to the investment law implemented by the Jordan Investment Board Authority (JIBA).
JIBA’s Director General Reem Badran announced on April 19 that this amount is spread over 100 projects in comparison to last year’s 98 projects with revenues reaching JD 110 million, of which local investments amounted to JD 96 million, while non-Jordanian investments reached JD31 million. American and Canadian investments topped JD 6 million, while Arab investments dropped from JD 7.5 million to JD 3 million while European investments rose from JD 0.5 million to JD 2 million. Badran further added that most of the investment projects were clustered in the industrial sector—92 projects with an investment volume of JD 109 million.