Syrian investments in Jordan have increased recently. Economic sources suggested that Jordan would attract major Syrian venture capitalists following the facilities announced by the Jordanian Ministry of Investment on entry, visits, and residence for investors and businessmen.
The sources attributed their expectations that these facilities would make Jordan a platform for commercial communication between Syrian and Arab investors, specifically gulf companies, who fear entering Syrian territory, because of the obstacles that the U.S. Caesar Act places on anyone considering investing in areas controlled by the Damascus government.
The Jordanian government had recently announced a package of facilities for Syrian investments in Jordan, especially for investors holding commercial registrations of the excellent and first classes. The Jordanian Ministry of Investment asked its embassy in Damascus to communicate with the Syrian Chambers of Industry and Commerce, to provide them with the names of Syrian investors, and allow them to enter Jordanian lands and reside there for a full year.
The decision was aimed at increasing the visa duration for investors and businessmen to five years and granting the recipients temporary residence, up to three months.
Does Jordan succeed in attracting Syrian investors?
Abdul Hakim al-Masry, Minister of Finance and Economy in the Interim Government of the Syrian opposition, raises his expectations of the success to increase Syrian investments in Jordan, and the ability of the Jordanian government to attract Syrian investors.
His optimism is due to “the lack of the right environment for doing business in areas of regime control, and a lack of stability among business owners”.
Masry added, in his interview with Al-Hal Net, that “Syrian investors are suffering from securing imported raw materials, and the differences in the dollar exchange rate between the black market and the Central Bank of Syria.” He stressed that “Jordan’s chances are great in pushing these investors to work on its lands, especially since it is one of the most stable countries neighbouring
“Despite the facilities provided by Lebanon and Iraq for Syrian investments, the fragility of the state’s presence in these two countries does not encourage Syrian investors to enter, unlike Jordan, which enjoys political stability,” Masry said. “Jordan’s territory is close to Damascus, where the largest number of Syrian investors are concentrated.”
Obstacles to the Damascus Government
But the interim government minister talks about “the possibility of creating obstacles to prevent capital migration and the arrival of Syrian investments in Jordan.” “The regime will not allow the remaining capital to move to Jordan and elsewhere so easily,” he said.
Masry continues: “With this, they have no choice but to smuggle their money towards Jordan, which is the most likely option, given the chaos prevailing in the regime’s controlled areas.”
Jordan did not sever its relationship with the Damascus government, but the relationship between the two sides fell to a minimum during the past years, until October 2021, when Jordanian King Abdullah II received a phone call from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. However, relations have deteriorated recently, after the escalation of drug smuggling from southern Syria to Jordan. Jordanian officials accuse militias and gangs loyal to Iran and the Damascus government of organizing smuggling operations.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.