Khasawneh addresses EMV progress at interactive session

82% of EMV plan achieved

Bisher Al Khasawneh
(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — On Sunday, Prime Minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh launched an interactive session at the Prime Ministry, focusing on the 'Economic Modernization Vision (EMV): Between Two Years.' The event drew ministers, officials, private sector representatives, and stakeholders from all economic sectors, highlighting the government's commitment to economic revitalization and inclusivity. اضافة اعلان

Khasawneh emphasized that this session honors the government's commitment and sustains the participatory approach, updating stakeholders on the latest developments in implementing the EMV, as reported by the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

He stated, "We stand midway between two years: one year since the inception of the Economic Modernization Vision, with an accomplishment rate surpassing 82 percent, and another year to build upon these achievements towards the 2033 goals.”

Khasawneh highlighted the government's efforts in the first year, laying the groundwork across administrative, legislative, economic, and sectoral domains to catalyze economic activity and pave the way for achieving the vision's objectives. 

Addressing administrative measures, Khasawneh said that mechanisms were established to monitor performance and achievement in the Prime Ministry and 20 ministries, alongside an accessible electronic system for progress tracking. 

In legislative aspects, he highlighted significant laws passed to enhance the investment environment and economic sectors' competitiveness, including laws on investment, public-private sectors partnership projects, companies, competition, labor, social security, personal data protection, and real estate.

Regarding economic reforms, Khasawneh outlined initiatives to reduce production costs, including customs tariff restructuring and electricity tariff revision, supporting various economic sectors with approximately JD50 million. 

The Prime Minister also detailed programs aiding economic sectors and SMEs, such as the Industry Support Fund, the National Employment Program (Tashgeel), and expanded financing initiatives, aimed at boosting competitiveness, exports, and job creation. Furthermore, he highlighted sectoral initiatives like the national mining, e-commerce, export, digital transformation, and transportation strategies, aimed at generating investment opportunities and optimizing resource utilization.

Jordan's economic resilience amidst regional challenges
Khasawneh noted positive economic indicators, including a 2.7 percent real growth rate for the third quarter of 2023, attracting JD673 million in foreign direct investments by September 2023, and total exports of JD8.9 billion in 2023. Despite a slight 1.5 percent decrease in exports from 2022, due to lower prices in global markets, measures led to a 10 percent reduction in the trade balance deficit, reaching JD9.3 billion in 2023. 

Financially, the primary deficit declined to 2.6 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2023, with domestic revenues increasing to JD8.7 billion, and the successful completion of International Monetary Fund (IMF) reviews and a new program for 2024-2028.

Khasawneh highlighted Jordan's robust foreign currency reserves, surpassing $18 billion in 2023, covering imports for over eight months. This marked an increase from $17 billion in 2022 and $14.4 billion in 2019. 

Inflationary pressures were contained at 2.1 percent in 2023, below the targeted 3.8 percent and lower than 4.2 percent in 2022. Additionally, remittances from Jordanians abroad reached JD2.25 billion by October 2023, up 1.4 percent from 2022. 

Furthermore, Khasawneh emphasized the role of the Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ), Finance Ministry, and the private sector in Jordan's removal from the gray list, facilitating foreign banking operations, and enhancing investment safety. He noted that total bank deposits rose to approximately JD44 billion in 2023, compared to JD42 billion in 2022 and JD35 billion in 2019. 

Credit facilities reached JD33.4 billion in 2023, up slightly from 2022's JD32.6 billion and JD27 billion in 2019. Sectoral growth indicators showed a three percent increase in registered Jordanian companies from 2022 and a 20 percent rise from 2019. Moreover, tourism income surged by 27 percent in 2023, reaching JD5.2 billion.

However, Khasawneh mentioned that the economy faced challenges in the fourth quarter of 2023 due to Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip and developments in the Red Sea and Bab el-Mandeb strait, impacting sectors like transportation, supply chains, and tourism. 

He added that marine feeding lines were established to ensure goods' regular arrival in Aqaba, with container price ceilings set until Ramadan's end, pointing out that economic sectors cooperated responsibly, maintaining reasonable profit margins, while emergency funds support stable market prices. Additionally, market regulations tightened pre-Ramadan to stabilize prices, ensuring sufficient stock of strategic goods and expanding storage capacity.

Notably, Khasawneh emphasized Jordan's substantial contributions to the Palestinian cause and its steadfast diplomatic efforts to stop the war and provide sustained humanitarian aid under His Majesty King Abdullah's leadership. He further dismissed claims of a land bridge, stating there have been no transportation changes in 25 years. 

He underscored that impression matters for Jordan's economy and investment, with life characterized by regularity, safety, and honesty, pointing out that despite risks resulting from the war, alternative plans are in place, reflecting confidence in overcoming challenges as before.

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