PM Launches Interactive Meeting With Officials, Stakeholders On Economic Modernization Vision


(MENAFN- Jordan News Agency)


Amman, Feb. 25 (Petra) - Prime Minister Bisher Khasawneh inaugurated Sunday's interactive session at the Prime Ministry on the "Economic Modernization Vision: Between Two Years," with ministers, officials, private sector representatives, and stakeholders from all economic sectors in attendance.
The Prime Minister emphasized that this session honors the government's commitment and sustains the participatory approach, updating stakeholders on the latest developments in implementing the Economic Modernization Vision.
"We stand midway between two years: one year since the inception of the Economic Modernization Vision, with an accomplishment rate surpassing 82%, and another year to build upon these achievements towards the 2033 goals," he stated.
He 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, 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, significant laws were 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 JD 50 million.
The Prime Minister detailed programs aiding economic sectors and SMEs, such as the Industry Support Fund, the National Employment Program, and expanded financing initiatives, aimed at boosting competitiveness, exports, and job creation.
He also highlighted sectoral initiatives like the national mining, e-commerce, export, digital transformation, and transportation strategies, aimed at generating investment opportunities and optimizing resource utilization.
Khasawneh noted positive economic indicators, including a 2.7% real growth rate for Q3 2023, attracting JD 673 million in foreign direct investments by September 2023, and total exports of JD 8.9 billion in 2023. Despite a slight 1.5% decrease in exports from 2022, due to lower prices in global markets, measures led to a 10% reduction in the trade balance deficit, reaching JD 9.3 billion in 2023.
Financially, primary deficit declined to 2.6% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2023, with domestic revenues increasing to JD 8.7 billion, and the successful completion of International Monetary Fund (IMF) reviews and a new program for 2024-2028.
Khasawneh reaffirmed commitment to monetary stability, stressing effective monetary policy in maintaining exchange rate stability and bolstering confidence in the Jordanian dinar and Central Bank decisions.
Khasawneh highlighted Jordan's robust foreign currency reserves, surpassing $18 billion last year, 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% in 2023, below the targeted 3.8% and lower than 4.2% in 2022.
Remittances from Jordanians abroad reached JD 2.25 billion by October 2023, up 1.4% from 2022.
Total bank deposits, he noted, rose to approximately JD 44 billion in 2023, compared to JD 42 billion in 2022 and JD 35 billion in 2019. Credit facilities reached JD 33.4 billion last year, up slightly from 2022's JD 32.6 billion and JD 27 billion in 2019.
Khasawneh emphasized the role of the Central Bank of Jordan, Finance Ministry, and private sector in Jordan's removal from the gray list, facilitating foreign banking operations and enhancing investment safety.
Sectoral growth indicators showed a 3% increase in registered Jordanian companies from 2022 and a 20% rise from 2019. Tourism income surged by 27% in 2023, reaching JD 5.2 billion.
However, the economy faced challenges in Q4 2023 due to the aggression on Gaza and developments in the Red Sea and Bab al-Mandeb, impacting sectors like transportation, supply chains, and tourism.
Marine feeding lines were established to ensure goods' regular arrival in Aqaba, with container price ceilings set until Ramadan's end, he added, 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.
Khasawneh emphasized Jordan's substantial contributions to the Palestinian cause and its steadfast diplomatic efforts to stop the aggression and provide sustained humanitarian aid.
Khasawneh underscored Jordan's solidarity, highlighting efforts to deliver humanitarian aid as well as the support of Jordanian medical personnel in Gaza, despite risks.
He dismissed claims of a land bridge, stating there have been no transportation changes in 25 years.
He underlined Jordan's unparalleled contributions to the Palestinian cause under His Majesty King Abdullah II's leadership. "It is a disgrace to question our stance," he declared, aligning with King Abdullah, Her Majesty Queen Rania and His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein and the government.
He reiterated Jordan's unequivocal stance alongside Palestine and the sacrifices made in upholding principles and humanitarian values.
Khasawneh highlighted King Abdullah II's personal efforts to deliver aid amid military operations, praising Jordan's consistent humanitarian support via trucks and aircraft, especially to Gaza's hospitals.
Maintaining normalcy in Jordan is vital, he stressed, cautioning against populism disrupting life, which hinders support to Gaza and the West Bank. Stability is crucial for effective aid to Palestine, tied to Jordan's economic progress and regional developments, he said.
He underscored that impression matters for Jordan's economy and investment, with life characterized by regularity, safety, and honesty. Despite risks resulting from the war, alternative plans are in place, reflecting confidence in overcoming challenges as before, he pointed out.

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