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long-standing political and economic ties with these regions and the rest of the world. several progressive regulations. These are all designed
to help the Jordanian insurance market conform with
These advantages are the result of a history of state-led macroeconomic policies, ongoing
international standards and best practices. International
integration with the global economy and adherence to free market principles.
standards of solvency, retention, arbitration, corporate
Jordan’s geo-economic position is not its only advantage, as it is undergoing a continuous
governance and capital requirements are a few of the
process of democratisation, liberalisation and consensus-building, and is assuming a leading
issues addressed by these regulations, and represent just
role in advocating political stability and economic development in the region.
one section of the IC’s full agenda for qualifying the
Among the strengths that international investors will find in Jordan is its young, energetic Kingdom to become a regional insurance destination.
and highly empowered population of around 6.3 million. Jordan is well known for providing
Similarly, new bancassurance instructions (2008),
neighbouring insurance markets with the brainpower responsible for a considerable portion
anti-money laundering guidelines, and licensing
of the region’s growth.
instructions for regional offices and representative
offices of re/insurance companies are paving the way
for MEnA-oriented international insurance services to
set out from Jordan and spread across the region. These
instructions and regulations will also soon be joined by
captive insurance regulations.
A clear quantitative benefit of working in Jordan for
foreign insurance investors is the zero percent tax rate on
insurance companies conducting international business
from the country. Also, Jordan allows 100 percent foreign
ownership of local companies, and the low cost of
starting and maintaining businesses in general is another
benefit. Equally importantly, there are no capital or
currency restrictions on international investments.
Jordan is a member of the World Trade Organization
(WTO), among other organisations and treaties, and
is a signatory to free trade agreements with Arab
countries, EU countries, the US and others.
The manpower advantage enjoyed by the Jordanian insurance sector is too important to be
overlooked, according to S&P, : “[W]e observe that the Jordanian insurance sector has managed to
All of these domestic initiatives and factors have been
retain local talent of all ages and at reasonable salary levels, while still exporting many of its more
enhanced by the avid involvement of the IC and its
mobile managers and staff to assist the development of insurance in neighbouring markets…”
director general, hE dr bassel hindawi, in upgrading
the regional insurance arena to better accommodate
This transfer of Jordanian insurance executives between Jordan and adjacent markets
global insurance investments. dr hindawi piloted
means that the domicile has the local knowledge and experience to help investors design more
the establishment of the Arab Forum of Insurance
informed strategies for exploring investment opportunities in the MEnA region.
regulatory Commissions (AFIrC), and also chaired its
Jordan’s evolving regulatory framework for the insurance sector also focuses on two main
first term, while the IC itself continues to work with
priorities, which are equally attractive characteristics of the domicile. The first is sound
supervisory bodies in the region to improve insurance
regulation of the local insurance sector, which provides the supervision required for enhancing
supervision standards. The IC’s close affiliation with
the efficiency of insurance institutions. This, in turn, will foster better services and contribute
the International Association of Insurance Supervisors
to the development of the Jordanian economy.
(IAIS) has also been a very rewarding endeavour.


The second priority of the regulatory framework is to establish the regulatory environment
and infrastructure needed to attract international insurance businesses interested in operating
in the MEnA region, and to encourage them to make Jordan their regional centre.
Firas T. Abd-Alhadi is insurance awareness officer in the
“Widely perceived as one of the more proactive supervisors in the region,” according to S&P,
development & external affairs department of the Jordan Insurance
©iStockphoto.com / Mytho the Insurance Commission (IC) of Jordan has proposed and supervised the implementation of Commission. He can be contacted at: fabdelhadi@irc.gov.jo
September 2009 | INTELLIGENT INSURER | 45
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