|Showcasing Jordan's move to new economy: int@j goes to Dubai
|Led by an initiative from the very top, by His Majesty King Abdullah II, Jordan's burgeoning IT industry is set to take on the region and the world.
Led by an initiative from the very top, by His Majesty King Abdullah II, Jordan's burgeoning IT industry is set to take on the region and the world. Some of the leading Jordanian IT companies, backed by membership of int@j (Jordan Association for Information Technology), were in Dubai showcasing the best information technology the country has to offer. int@j, represents not only the strength of the IT infrastructure, but also the strength of a partnership between the public and private sector- int@j is one of only a few global organisations that have successfully combined the needs of the private and public sectors. Jordan's IT industry is set to boom over the next five years.
The Jordanian government and int@j have a strong commitment to establishing Jordan as a key regional player.
IT-related employment has doubled; annual exports grew to an estimated US $40 million; and more than US $50 million in foreign direct investment has been amassed.
Karim Kawar, Chairman of int@j said, "we are implementing His Majesty's vision. It's a private sector initiative that will benefit all." "The IT industry will benefit and the whole nation will benefit, with His Majesty's backing. In order to create a best-of-breed environment for the IT industry, int@j looked at plans in other nascent IT economies like Ireland, India and Singapore, for example." "As a result of this research, Jordan has developed its own clear model of how its IT industry should develop-a model that focuses on the strengths of Jordan. Rather than set impossible deadlines or vague goalposts, int@j has set up a progress unit, to ensure deadlines are met, and progress is kept on track." This unit is called the REACH Progress Unit. A key part of the development is education: Jordan has a growing, youthful population, keen to learn about IT.
Building Internet usage, IT awareness and a viable infrastructure all takes time, however, and int@j is aware of the need for "less hastle, more speed." "The people have shown enormous will and spirit in backing this initiative. Our task [at int@j] is to synergise between King, government, and the freedom and openness of an accessible regulatory framework," said Kawar.
The Star redaction