IMF chief says Jordan's growth rates not in line with population hikes

IMF building
(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — Ron Van Rooden, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission, expressed concern over Jordan's growth rates not keeping pace with its population hikes. اضافة اعلان

While acknowledging the Kingdom’s financial progress achieved through firm macroeconomic policies in a challenging environment, Van Rooden stressed the need for faster reforms in line with Jordan's vision of economic modernization, a local media outlet reported.

During a press conference held in Amman on Wednesday with Finance Minister Mohamad Al-Ississ, Van Rooden commended the Jordanian authorities for their financial achievements and their commitment to reducing the deficit while building upon the progress made in recent years.

He emphasized that the Jordanian budget is on the right path, particularly with the new goals to curb the deficit to less than 80 percent of GDP.

High unemployment rates call for swifter reforms
However, Van Rooden expressed concern over the persistently high unemployment rates in Jordan, especially among young people and women. He underscored the necessity of accelerating reforms to address this issue and align with the Kingdom's economic modernization goals.

Van Rooden highlighted the importance of reducing the cost of doing business, facilitating business operations, promoting competition, and minimizing bureaucratic hurdles to attract both local and foreign investments.

Growth rates insufficient for improved living standards
While Jordan has achieved an annual growth rate ranging between 2 to 3 percent, Van Rooden emphasized that this level of growth is insufficient to enhance people's standard of living, particularly in light of the Kingdom’s population growth rate of 2 percent per year.

He reiterated the urgency for economic reforms to stimulate more robust growth and create opportunities for employment.

Van Rooden also acknowledged the successful management by Jordan's Central Bank in maintaining the price of the Jordanian dinar's peg to the dollar.

This stability, he said, contributes to ensuring a favorable economic environment and investor confidence.

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