USAID/SABEQ Program and the Architecture and Engineering Business Council Discuss the Importance of the Sector to the Growth and Sustainability of Jordan’s Economy
August 8, 2007- Amman- Representatives from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Architecture and Engineering Business Council (A&E/BC), The Ministry of Public Works, and the USAID-funded Sustainable Achievement of Business Expansion and Quality Program’s (SABEQ), gathered yesterday in an event to emphasize the important role the A&E sector plays in supporting the growth and sustainability of Jordan’s economy. The event entailed speeches and a panel discussion. The Chairman for the A&E Business Council, Bisher Jardaneh, SABEQ Program Chief of Party Rodrigo Ortiz, and members of the A&E Business Council were the participants of the panel. The discussion was seen as an opportunity for members of the A&E Business Council to discuss the current state of the sector and how they have benefited from technical assistance provided by the SABEQ Program in recent months. These points were covered in a speech provided by the Chairman of the Council, Bisher Jardaneh where he noted: The members of the A&E Business Council are currently generating half of their revenues through exporting services to over 30 countries. They enjoy a good reputation in the region and beyond. The council plays a leading role in upgrading its member’s capabilities. With one percent of Jordan’s population as engineers; we will become a driver for economic growth and employment aiding in the transformation of our economy to knowledge based one.
In his keynote speech, USAID Mission Director Jay Knott, noted the critical role that active and engaged business associations have in benefiting Jordan’s economic growth. “You [have] become a catalyst for this growth by advocating for policies that support and connect with the public sector.” Mr. Knott also discussed the importance of another activity taking place in the event, the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the A&E Business Council and the USAID-funded SABEQ Program. The Mission Director highlighted areas of assistance that USAID will provide, through the SABEQ Program, to the business council. The assistance will support the Council through business planning and mentoring programs for its members. It will also assist the Council to upgrade its own internal operations and structure to better serve its members, boosting the productivity of the Council’s members and achieving tangible results for the sector as a whole.
The MoU states how SABEQ and the Council will work together to upgrade the performance and capabilities of the Jordanian A&E sector. This includes creating productive dialogue between the public and private sectors to ultimately increase job opportunities for Jordanian architects and engineers. This is part of SABEQ’s broader effort to support key sectors, such as agriculture, medical services, pharmaceuticals, ICT, tourism, architects and engineers (A&E), and garments, through chambers and business associations.
The A/E Business Council is a non-profit, membership and representational association offering professional services to architecture and engineering consulting companies based in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Its principal objectives are to promote quality, excellence and competitiveness standards in the sector and to facilitate trade through best practices both in Jordan and in overseas export markets.
The USAID-funded Sustainable Achievement of Business Expansion and Quality (SABEQ)Program is a five year broad economic development initiative implemented by BearingPoint, Inc. and a sizeable team of international and Jordanian partner firms. By both supporting improvements in the business environment and providing assistance to expand innovation and productivity in Jordanian businesses, SABEQ’s four components all support the common objective of building up the private sector—Jordan’s companies, innovators and entrepreneurs—as a powerful engine of economic growth.
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