The Jordanian Businessmen Association and the Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development (ARDD), in partnership with the Business and Professional Women Club, held a ceremony to honor a group of business leaders in the Kingdom, as part of an initiative entitled: “Towards a Common Goal: Equitable Economic Growth in Jordan”, on Monday, February 6, 2023.
The ceremony, which began with a moment of silence for the victims of the devastating earthquake that hit Syria and Turkey, was attended by a group of business owners and representatives of the public and private sectors and local and international civil society, honoring the leaders and investors in the Jordanian economy for their role in establishing a successful, productive, and attractive business environment for work and investment in Jordan at the local and international levels, and for their contributions to building the pillars of ethical leadership in the business sector in Jordan, which contributed to its modern economy.
In turn, CEO of ARDD, Samar Muhareb, expressed her appreciation for the efforts supporting this initiative, which sheds light on the foundations of ethical leadership in the business sector and its role in building a reputation that spurs local and foreign investments in the sector, as well as promoting the values of work and giving which abide by the principles of governance, integrity, and human rights.
Muhareb valued the pioneering partnership with the Jordanian Businessmen Association, highlighting their leadership role through institutional work in developing and embracing this initiative to become an annual tradition that exhibits the efforts of the early Jordanian entrepreneurs, who believed in an attractive work environment for all segments of society and paved the way for it, and who, despite the challenges facing the private sector, continue to stand by their country to maintain its security and stability in this troubled region.
For his part, Eng. Abdul Raheem Al-Buqai, Secretary General of the Businessmen Association, stressed the importance of the continued efforts to achieve a balance between the various groups of society, avoiding the benefit of one party at the expense of the other, and finding a balanced equation that satisfies all parties, which requires continuous cooperation between the various civil society institutions and the business community. He also praised the efforts of the Jordanian business community and its great commitment to the enforcement of international laws in various fields of human rights.
Meanwhile, the panel discussion, moderated by the Coordinator of the Forum for Human and Economic Development (Hadaf), Dr. Raad Al-Tal, discussed the economic dimensions and problems and their repercussions on social and humanitarian conditions, as well as the importance of focusing on investment and exports to expand the opportunities for economic growth.
Regarding the challenges facing the economic sector, Dr. Yousef Mansour, economist and former Minister of State for Economic Affairs, stressed that the biggest challenge facing small companies lies in the lack of access to funding, which hinders their development until they reach bankruptcy. He also underlined the importance of forming partnerships and building trust with them, emphasizing the need for the government to assume its responsibilities towards the economy.
As for the role of the private sector in economic development, Michel Nazzal, Chairman of MENA Hotels and member of the Jordanian Businessmen Association, criticized the lack of implementation and follow-up of economic strategies, as we still encounter ill-advised decisions that result in poor investments and drive investors away, highlighting the importance of establishing an ethical business environment with fair competition.
In respect to the reasons behind the weak participation of women in the economy, Taghreed Al-Nafisi, CEO of Tadawul Brokerage and Financial Investments, saw that the failure of women to make it in the labor market is mainly due to the prevailing societal culture and the lack of understanding of their priorities in society, pointing out that civil society institutions, the Jordanian National Commission for Women, and the labor community in general played a significant role in changing many legislations and laws that serve women and help them organize their lives.
The meeting included signing a memorandum of goodwill, under the title: “Towards a Common Goal” for ethical leadership, improving the work and investment environment, promoting best practices to achieve economic and human development in the Kingdom, as well as building a new partnership between all state institutions, the business sector, and civil society ,in order to promote social dialogue and action that would contribute to achieving sustainable social and economic development in Jordan.
This Memorandum was drafted to represent a set of basic principles, as well as an agenda that ensures joint action to achieve concrete goals on the ground, and that contributes to the creation of a political and social environment conducive to sustainable development and decent work, by providing recommendations for policies and regulatory frameworks in the field of human rights and business, especially with regard to economic development and labor market support.
The ceremony honored each of the leading institutions participating in the initiative: “Jordan Phosphate Mines Company, Ernst & Young Jordan, Maltrans Shipping Agencies Co., Petra University, Marwan Al-Kurdi & Partners Co., Al-Salam International Company for Transport and Trade PLC, National Arab Motors, Tadawul Brokerage and Financial Investments Forum, Haider Murad & Sons Investment Group, Kawar Group, Al-Nayi for Informational and Communicational Consulting, Naouri Group, Marcelia for Information Technology – SkyTech, Adaa Sustainable Development Consultants, Studio R, Alfa Center for Studies, Durrat Al-Manal, Bilad Al-Atfal Nursery and Kindergarten, Dermaliscio Cosmetics, and Bloom Dead Sea Gift Enterprise”.