His Majesty King Abdullah reiterated the importance of the ICT sector in reinforcing Jordan's position as a regional leader.
During a meeting with representatives from local ICT companies, the King pointed out the importance of building on previous achievements and developing comprehensive strategies for the upcoming years, a Royal Court statement said.
"Information and communications technology is one of our top priorities, due to its social implications and positive contribution to economic growth," His Majesty said.
He said that the partnership model between the public and private sectors is what placed Jordan on the map as a leading country in the ICT sector, reaffirming the importance of building on this model.
The Monarch added that it is important to work on laws that would regulate this model to keep up with the developments in the sector, and called for drawing up new policies that would improve competitiveness.
He stressed the importance of diversifying the efforts to develop the ICT sector, and employing more creativity and innovation.
Sector representatives said the challenges they face are related to the need to develop the laws to keep up with the developments in the field. They also cited the lack of a research and development center that would turn innovative ideas into projects as another challenge.
During the meeting, the ICT Association of Jordan (int@j) called for more cooperation between universities and local businesses to allow the companies to benefit from universities' research and development programs.
Minister of Industry and Trade and Minister of Information and Communications Technology Hatem Halawani said the government realizes the importance of the sector, which contributes 14 per cent of the growth in the gross domestic product.
In remarks to the Jordan News Agency, Petra, after the meeting, int@j Chairman Mohammad Tahboub affirmed that local ICT companies are currently studying a strategy to develop the sector, based on increasing investments, supporting creativity and intellectual property, and paying extra attention to the human capital.
Wael Attili, creative founder of the Amman-based Kharabeesh Network, also told Petra that online media is a new industry being created in Jordan and the region.
He said the industry is facing some challenges that need governmental decisions to help it reach its full potential, especially since it adds value and provides new job opportunities.