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August 16 2022 7:47 AM ˚
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Experts divided about outcome of economic workshop

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His Majesty King Abdullah meets with economic figures at Al- Husseiniya Palace on Feburary 22, 2022. (Photo: Royal Court)
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AMMAN — The National Economic Workshop held at the Royal Hashemite Court under the title “Advancing into the Future: Unleashing the Potential to Modernize the Economy” is Jordan’s latest initiative aimed at addressing challenges facing various economic sectors and providing what has been described as a road map for recovery that is binding on successive governments.اضافة اعلان

According to economic expert Zayyan Zawaneh, governments have been talking about the economic crisis since 2005, and numerous meetings, workshops have been held and they have come up with blueprints and outputs that were not executed as they were supposed to be, although His Majesty the King has stressed in every designation letter [addressed to new governments] the need to handle the economic file.

“However, this time I am more optimistic because the Royal Court is running the workshop,” said Zawaneh, adding that for the past 17 years, the trajectories of economy were clear, and so were the problems and the solutions.

“The problem was the lack of execution.”

According to the economist, the rationale for holding this workshop was the fact that the economic situation has become so dire “due, unfortunately, to slackness, apathy and denial. This has led to grave repercussions, including the huge public debt”.

Other factors that contributed to the economic deterioration in the past decade, he continued, include the “emergence of new regional political-economic alliances that have had an adverse effect on Jordan’s economy, while the Kingdom’s political role was being eclipsed gradually”.

Economic expert Wajdi Makhamreh said he was not optimistic about the figures taking part in the workshop.

“These are the same people that have been around for the past 20 years. There are no new elites and what is happening would not go beyond a diagnosis of the economic situation at a time when the problems and the solutions are known,” he said, citing the public debt, unemployment and untapped potentials as the main challenges.

Former minister of state for economic affairs Yusuf Mansur agreed that implementation is the magic word when it comes to economic development policymaking, and urged sustainability.

Yousef Damra, an economist who is taking part in the workshop, said there is a “constructive partnership between the public and private sectors to work out solutions that would make a difference to the future of the national economy”.

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