In the past there was little foreign investment in Jordan apart from the oil pipelines, but in the early 1970s, the government began offering liberal tax inducements, including a six-year corporate tax holiday for firms established in 'Amman and a tax holiday of up to 10 years for those outside the capital. 100% foreign ownership of local enterprises is permitted in some cases. In 1980, the government formed the Jordanian Industrial Estates Corp., near 'Amman, to attract new industries to planned industrial complexes; investors were granted two-year income tax exemptions. Jordan also has established four free-trade zones, at Al-'Aqabah, Az-Zarqa', and the Queen Alia International Airport and along the Syrian frontier, near the Jordan-Syria rail link.
In 1995, Jordan hosted an international conference on investment in the Kingdom as part of its recent opening to international investment. It also announced intentions to begin selling off government shares in major enterprises, including telecommunications and the Royal Jordanian Airlines. In 1997, the country had $1.2 billion in foreign exchange reserves.