Washington, DC Jordan’s economy has benefited greatly from the recent adoption of better intellectual property-protections, according to a report released today by the International Intellectual Property Institute (IIPI). Establishing Globally-Competitive Pharmaceutical and Bio-Medical Technology Industries in Jordan: Assessment of Business Strategies and the Enabling Environment examines the business practices of Jordanian pharmaceutical and bio-medical firms and finds, contrary to conventional wisdom, globalization has been good for Jordan.

The report clearly shows that the adoption of stronger intellectual property protections is helping to transform Jordan into the leading knowledge economy in the region. The report was authored by IIPI consultants Michael Ryan and Jillian Shanebrook.

A chief goal of the report was to examine the role intellectual property is playing in Jordan’s pharmaceutical and bio-medical sectors amid significant intellectual property law changes in recent years. Indeed, Jordan’s accession to the World Trade Organization in 2000 and subsequent Free Trade Agreement with the United States in 2001 ushered in sweeping intellectual property changes, leaving Jordan with some of the strongest and most thorough intellectual property laws in the world. Thus, “the case of Jordan gives us a unique opportunity to explore the effects of new, strong intellectual property laws on the pharmaceutical industry of a developing country,” notes Ryan.

Prior to Jordan’s IP overhaul, many critics warned that Jordan’s pharmaceutical sector would be crushed by intellectual property obligations. However, the report finds that Jordan’s pharmaceutical sector has actually benefited from the strengthening of its intellectual property regime. New health sectors, including contract clinical research, have spurred a new focus on research-based innovation for Jordanian pharmaceutical companies. There is a growing multinational presence, medical tourism has taken on new importance, and the number of clinical trials has multiplied. Intellectual property reforms in Jordan have motivated local industry to cultivate a great deal of “business activity that is intellectual property-intensive and high value-added.”

IIPI produced this report in partnership with the Achievement of Market Friendly Initiatives and Results (AMIR) Program, a project funded by the United States Agency for International Development. IIPI will be organizing a series of events in the coming months to showcase the findings of the report and its implications for other developing countries.