Jordan's stability and economic development

(MENAFN- Jordan Times) The regional ongoing crisis has had extremely negative impacts on Jordan's economy and, in order to turn things around, a new way of thinking is required of Jordanian decision makers. Given the constant threat, security has been and remains a priority, but Jordan must see past the physical threats and recognise that economic development is required in order to address broader threats to its security.

Jordan's security is tied to its broader socio-economic drivers, and as such, security strategies must take economic and social realities and factors into account, and perhaps find ways to drive economic security as a strategy for physical security. In order to do this effectively, Jordan must create industrial pillars in its economy.

Tourism is an industry where Jordan has a great competitive advantage and a long history. However, compared to many tourist destinations, Jordan is considered expensive, so it is finding it increasingly difficult to attract large numbers of tourists. We need to increase our tourist numbers in order to have a noticeable and positive impact on our economy. In order to achieve this, we need new infrastructure, potentially building tourist villages in areas of the country with more pleasant climates and in areas with historic value. The south could definitely be a tourist hub for regional tourism as well.

Jordan should start a process of economic development in the rural areas and other cities outside Amman. We must remember that Amman is not Jordan. The centralised Jordanian system puts Amman at the centre of everything and creates an unbalanced development system. We must adopt a more decentralised system that develops the other cities, which will go further to stabilise the capital, which has a positive impact on security.

Jordan must always consider the regional situation when formulating internal strategy and this is also true for economic development. The Syrian issue is one of the most critical files that affect Jordan. While Jordan has succeeded, in cooperation with both Russia and US, to establish the de-escalation zone in the south of Syria, instability in the rest of the country is creating greater risk.

The less stable Syria remains, the more likely we will see the rise of a terrorist group replacing Daesh. The south will not be safe from attacks if this happens, so it is important for Jordan to position itself diplomatically with all groups being open and honest about the interests of each country. This way we can be central to ensuring we avoid another wave of destabilisation that could cross Syrian and Iraqi borders.

Jordan faces a myriad of challenges both internally and externally. The best way to address all of them is to develop an integrated strategy, at the heart of which is economic development, that brings Jordan's internal interests in line with regional stability. Leaders must find common ground and interests with regional protagonists and a clear internal vision that targets the Jordanian cities with effective and concrete economic development.


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