The mission of int@j is to promote the success of the ICT and ICT enabled services sector on regional and international levels, which can be achieved by enhancing the related business environment and having all related stakeholders working in harmony to support the sector to raise its competitiveness and enhance its growth on the regional and international levels.
One of int@j’s most important objectives is to “Advocate Industry Issues” for both ICT and BPO industries and promote public private sectors dialogue through structured Advocacy Framework, through which will contribute to forming a pro-active coalition with stakeholders and ensure constructive dialogue with the government. Such framework includes managing industry stakeholders’ relations and resolving industry conflicts, building and reinforcing bridges among association members, and acting as a liaison between association members and government, media, universities, NGOs and donors.
• Enhancing investment and business environment in a manner that leads to reducing the administrative and regulatory cost
• Creating opportunities for growth in domestic, regional and international markets
• Increasing domestic and exporting productivity and employment
Advocacy Agenda 2010-2012
Tackles issues related to:
• Business Process Outsourcing
• E-business and digital content
Among which are:
• Government procurement & tenders
• R&D fund & empowerment
• Bridging the gap between universities graduates and market needs
• Security laws & policies for e-transactions
• Intellectual property.
• Participate in related work groups
• Sponsor related events & meetings
• Provide PR & Marketing services
• Provide specialists or consultancy in specific areas (legal, economic, business)
• Share any related references, studies…etc
• Participate in related roundtables, and lobbying meetings/ sessions
Main ICT Sector Advocacy Items & Tips for Companies
In addition to the main legislations affecting the ICT sector and the businesses operating in it, below are the main items that are currently being tracked by int@j’s Advocacy unit, whether part of the legislations referred to or standalone government decisions and directions:
- E-Transactions Law: law exists since 2001 but is being amended to enable mobile payment and digital certificates, amendment pending at the legislation bureau
- Certification Authority bylaw: the e-transactions law was approved but still not published
- Investment Promotion bylaw: the law in effect is the Investment Promotion Law No. 67 of 2003 and is being amended and modified to cater for lower foreign investments and lower the entry requirements.
- Telecom Law: the law in effect is the Telecom law No. 13 of 1995, the new Proposed Draft Telecommunications and Information Technology Law is being introduced by MoICT but still has issues in conflict with the private sector.
- Publications Law: was amended end of 2012, severely affects online and content business.
- Tax law: the Law in effect is the Income & Sales Tax No 28 & 29 of 2009; a new Draft at the legislation bureau, is being introduced by the Ministry of Finance with percentages of 25% on businesses and 35% on Telecom companies which severely affects ICT companies.
- Exports exemption bylaw: was issued in 2010 and exempts export revenue from income tax for some services related to (IT, BPO, consulting and other specific services) referring to the exemption law , this needs to be maintained. Also, amending the bylaw to consider online exports exempted as well.
Social Security law: the law in effect is the Social Security Law No. 7 of 2010; and its being amended, currently in discussion between parliament and senates, the increase of social security contributions over the next 4 years will reach 21.75% and will hinder businesses in Jordan.
- Increase of the 9% monthly payroll the employer pays to reach 0.5% starting January 2014 annually to reach a maximum of 12.25%.
- Increase of the 5.5% of gross monthly earnings the employee pays to reach 0.25% starting January 2014 annually to reach a maximum of 6.5%.
- Includes maternity insurance and insurance against unemployment
- Labor law: the law in effect is the Labor Law No. 8 of the Year 1996; a new draft is being introduced and has issues on the balance between employee and employer rights.
- PPP law: has been pending at the government for the past 3 years and hindering the implementation of joint revenue sharing projects between public and private sectors such as e-services and other projects
- Privacy Law: being drafted at MoICT in cooperation with the private sector.
- Ensure related Tendering Process transparency to give priority to local companies or guarantee a percentage for local participants for knowledge sharing
Proper enforcement of Intellectual Property (IP) related legislations; the following legal recommendations are noted:
- Companies should enter into written contracts with their employees if contracts are not in place to regulate the overall relationship between the employee and employer as stated by the labor law indicated above and its amendments.
- Companies may consider including a statement in employment contracts to clarify the ownership rights of the intellectual property keeping in mind that Jordanian legislation will respect and enforce such agreement. The following could be an example: “The parties agree that all Intellectual Property Rights, including, including but not limited to software, machine-readable codes and/or source codes, programming codes, business plans, data, trademarks, trade names, copyrights, patents, drawings and industrial designs which result, relate, arise and/or are connected directly or indirectly to any work carried out and/or performed by the Employee during his/her employment with the Employer shall be the exclusively owned by the Employer
- Increase of Electricity Tariffs; increased on companies mainly Telecom Operators operational cost and throughout other sectors as well.
- Telecom Mobile Tax 24% special tax was put on all mobile calls in addition to 16% sales tax compounded 44%, and a total of 16% tax is added on all handsets and devices affecting the retailers business and the cost structure of mobile Apps companies
- Internet Censorship vs. Parental Control: related terms found under the ICT policy 2012 contradicts with the existing telecom law.
- Eliminate Customs Fees on online personal purchases up to 1000 JOD, to encourage e-commerce industry
- 10% Telecom revenue share is also being applied on value added content providers through telecom operators providing VAS
- Online Businesses Regulations
- Technology neutrality, Jordan needs to unify technology standards between different related bodies like Customs Department, Telecom Regulatory Commission, Jordan Standards and Metrology Organization, and Public Security Directorate.., Etc.
- Imported services 7% tax (Licenses, Hosting services, Consulting,...)
- Remove 16% Sales Tax on PCs, Laptops, Tablets and IPADs…etc
- Revise the Value Added Services VAS regulations which severely affected VAS companies and caused some close outs.
- Advocate for Mobile Number Portability to enhance Telecom sector competitiveness
- Simplify TRC Type approvals processes
- Advocate for applying Technology Neutrality regulations and environment to ease sector advancements and technology adoption
- Issues for Venture Capital firms are related to capital gains; though they are not subject to tax, good well and brands value is subject to tax.
- Bridging the Gap between Academia and Industry for employment; int@j has been working on Workforce Assessment Reports to assess private sector needs and academia output, in addition to a national qualifications model to match graduates skills to occupational standards.
Refer to the Jordanian ICT Taxation Session Presentation to learn more recommendations & tips about taxation issues in Jordan
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