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Jordan needs 2.5 years to fully implement reforms — World Bank

1. World Bank
World Bank. (File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — The World Bank has said that Jordan “made progress” in implementing the program supported by the Equitable Growth and Job Creation Development Policy Loan (DPL), explaining that it “will continue to work closely with the government to make progress in the targeted reform areas”.اضافة اعلان

According to a report, the project aims to lay critical foundations for economic growth and job creation and has become more important in the post-COVID period. The project was approved on June 4, 2019 with a value of $1.45 billion, Al-Mamlaka TV reported on Tuesday.

The report also noted that Jordan has made “the greatest progress in the steady improvement of the social assistance system”. This has been a key reform during the pandemic and will likely serve Jordan well in the future.

Jordan made progress in mobilizing domestic revenues, implementing the new Public Investment Management Framework, the Public-Private Partnerships Law, and an investor grievance mechanism.

“Recent progress has been made on the insolvency, transactions, control, and inspection project, as well as in implementing the public procurement executive regulations and offering e-procurement. However, the energy-related results and some of the results on the private sector environment are lagging and need additional time to fully implement and impact,” according to the report.

The World Bank indicated that it was decided during the project evaluation period in 2019, that Jordan “will need about two and a half years to fully implement the reforms and complete the results of the DPL series, as this was estimated in the absence of the coronavirus pandemic, which could not have been expected at the time”.

In the past two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has had to address several health emergencies that have competed with the already difficult reform program, and to this end, the government needs more time to implement the agreed reforms and the DPL completion report will be extended by two years, according to the report.

The second loan for development policies for equitable growth and job creation aims to reduce the costs of doing business, attract new investments in priority sectors of the economy, create more flexible and integrated labor markets, and improve the sustainability of public finances. The program will also provide better social assistance to the poor.

The second loan revolves around three pillars aimed at laying the foundations for enhanced growth; the first is to reduce the costs of doing business and improve market access. This pillar will support a set of reforms aimed at making Jordan an open country for business activities.

These reforms are expected to support private sector investment, growth, and job creation by reducing the complexity of regulatory procedures, lowering the costs of doing business, reducing barriers to market entry and investment, improving access to finance, and promoting exports.

As for the second pillar, it is creating more flexible and integrated labor markets and providing better and more efficient social assistance. This pillar addresses institutional discrimination against women in the labor market and facilitates the entry of highly skilled foreign workers to supplement the demand for labor in the local market.

These reforms are expected to address urgent problems that affect the performance of the Jordanian economy including the very low rate of participation of women in the labor force and the weak demand for labor.

The third pillar focuses on improving fiscal sustainability and making informed decisions regarding risks. This pillar will enhance fiscal sustainability through revenue mobilization, enhance the efficiency of public investments, and improve public finance risk management. This pillar includes a roadmap to achieve fiscal sustainability in the public finance sector and the revision of the Public-Private Partnerships Law.

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