Jordan embarks on major drive for post-pandemic recovery

22-02-04

Jordan embarks on major drive for post-pandemic recovery­

Amman, 5 February 2022 (Petra & FANA) — Jordan has kicked off an ambitious drive to reform the national economy and recover from the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic which left a heavy toll on all walks of life.  

To boost growth and rejuvenate the business-doing ecosystem in the Kingdom, the government has rolled out comprehensive and time-framed reform programs that are hoped to directly reflect on citizens through robust growth.  

The ongoing reform effort is supported by King Abdullah II who has recently stressed in a public speech the need to propel economic growth, revitalize the public and private sectors and combat poverty and unemployment. 

Jordan’s reform drive enjoys a multitude of levers, including a strategic geographic location, security and stability, and developed industries that retain foothold in 140 markets across the globe. 

However, the Kingdom will have to overcome major hurdles slowing growth, including a turbulent neighborhood, the persistent ramifications of the pandemic and the burdens arising from hosting about 1.3 million Syrian refugees. 

These challenges slowed down the Kingdom’s economic growth which averaged 2.4 percent in the 2010-2019 period against 6.5 percent in the 2000-2009 period.

As a result of sluggish growth, low foreign capital inflows, and higher production costs, unemployment soared to record levels at 25 percent in early 2021.

Faced with this reality, the Jordanian decision maker found it imperative, more than ever before, to ramp up reform efforts to put the economy back on an upward trajectory, generate jobs and lure in foreign investments of added-value.

Recently and in a bid to drive growth, the Jordanian government has announced a major restructuring of customs and electric power tariffs to boost the national economy’s competitiveness, reduce business-doing costs and improve citizens purchasing power.  

Furthermore, the government has said that it plans to start laying the groundwork for 5G technology rollout. In this context, Jordan views ICT as a bulwark of its economy and aspires to become a regional technology hub in the Middle East and North Africa. 

Among other key reforms is a new investment law that will be drawn up in close coordination with the private sector to attract fresh capital to the Kingdom and curtail red-tape. Under the legislation, a one-stop shop will be introduced, thus reducing costs and efforts associated with business-doing.  

//Petra &Fana// AA

The head of the Jordanian Businessmen Association, HamdiTabbaa, has said the Kingdom’s reform drive is ambitious and promises better economic outlook.

“Pursuing an agile economic planning approach in real partnership with the private sector will improve Jordan’s position on the global investment map”, according to Tabbaa, who also chairs the Federation of Arab Businessman. 

Iyad Abu Haltam, a member of the Amman Chamber of Industry Board of Directors, said that Jordan’s future vision, as set forth by King Abdullah II, focuses on public-private partnership to come up with a time-bound roadmap that serves the country’s economy and sustainable growth.

Abu Haltam emphasized that economic reform could not bear fruit without a deep administrative reform that would reduce bureaucracy, re-engineer government procedures and services, and remove obstacles to business-doing.