The writer is CEO of the Envision Consulting Group and former minister of state for economic affairs.
The recent campaign to boycott the products of companies that are believed to support Israel has not been without controversy. While some view the boycott as a patriotic act and duty, others see the boycott as harmful to the local producers, traders, and the domestic supply chain. Consequently, in light of the Israeli attack on Gaza, marked by a vicious disregard for the lives of vulnerable civilians, especially women and children, and considering the economic repercussions of the boycott on Jordan, it is imperative to delve into this complex issue.
The attack on Gaza, the world’s largest prison and only concentration camp will have resulted by the time this article is published in 12,000 Palestinian lives, over 5,000 of them are children, and hundreds of thousands are injured, some severely. In addition, over 1.65 million Gazans have been displaced from the North to the south of Gaza. Does genocide (and ethnic cleansing mean that Israel is a victor? Not necessarily!
A closer examination of recent and not-so-recent publications from the IMF and World Bank reveals statements like "Jordan's economic transformation remains contingent on identifying opportunities to expand the economy's outward orientation and to implement reforms needed to promote private sector-led growth and job creation." These statements serve as policy guidelines and are deeply ingrained in the current Jordanian development paradigm. However, breaking down these components shows the inherent problems with such vague rhetoric.
Currently, there is anger amongst the Arab masses towards the West for their callous attitude toward Arab human life and their apparent total support for Israel, the occupier who has broken every international law and got away with murder(s) time and again. At times like these, it is important to understand the sources and causes of this seemingly unjustified bias.
There is a certain elegance in numbers that tell a story, especially if some economic wisdom may emerge from them. This is why when the Jordan Strategy Forum published a compendium of data related to lending venues of the private banks in Jordan from 2002-2022, several stories were told in these twenty years in numbers.
The average price of Octane-95 gasoline around the world is US$1.35 per litre. There is a considerable difference in these prices among countries. Usually, richer countries have higher prices while poorer countries and the countries that produce and export oil have much lower prices (Jordan is among the exceptions to this rule). The differences in retail prices across countries are caused by taxes and subsidies, which vary from one country to another.
Apologies in advance for using the word “I” in this article; however, I have been preaching for years now that the government should focus on and invest in innovation for decades now, and all calls and justifications seem to fall on deaf ears. The formula is simple: innovation leads to increased productivity, which increases everyone's income, including the state. Today, in yet another attempt, the argument for why innovation is so necessary is explained with a simple numerical example.
The recent dispute between two associations, the Jordan Insurance Federation (JIF) and the Jordan Medical Association (JMA), has garnered substantial attention from the media and the public. Physicians threatened to decline patient care until the matter is resolved in their favor. Under mounting public pressure, the government, represented by the Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ) as the regulator of the insurance sector, and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supplies (MOITS), home to the Competition Directorate responsible for safeguarding competition (not necessarily competitors) in the Kingdom, has stepped in to mediate.
Recently, there have been calls in the media by officials and some columnists to celebrate the decline in the inflation rate in Jordan. Yet, the complexity of the issue is not being addressed in most of what is being published.
The debate in economics regarding the effectiveness of industrial policy is at an all-time high. An industrial policy is usually a set of actions that combine and coordinate government efforts to bolster economic activities in one or more sectors of the economy. They could include strategic protection of certain industries, government subsidies, direct public sector investments, tax holidays and breaks, supply-chain resilience, job creation, better-paying jobs, greening the economy, etc.