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Jordan has learned to transform challenges into opportunities — Razzaz

PM says Kingdom committed to fundamental structural reforms

By JT - Jan 23,2020 - Last updated at Jan 23,2020

Prime Minister Omar Razzaz speaks during an interview with CNBC Arabiya on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland (Petra photo)

AMMAN — Prime Minister Omar Razzaz on Wednesday stressed that Jordan has committed to a five-year plan for fundamental structural reforms related to the Kingdom's economy and business environment.

On the sidelines of the World Economic Forum being held in Davos, Razzaz said in statements to CNBC Arabiya: "We are still evaluating the first year of the five-year plan of reforms in light of the positive results we see," reminding citizens that it will take time to see results.

"We started to implement the plan and positive indicators began to emerge through increasing exports last year, which happened through several measures, most notably activating free trade and stimulating small- and medium-sized institutions," the premier said.

He highlighted the rise in the tourism sector's growth in 2019, which was due to allowing low-cost airlines to operate in Jordan, the Jordan News Agency, Petra reported.

The real estate sector also witnessed "tremendous growth" after the government reduced real estate fees, impacting the sales of apartments and lands, which increased by 80 per cent, he said, adding that sales of apartments whose area exceeds ​​180 metres increased by 133 per cent.

The premier stressed that Jordan has "learned over its first centennial how to transform challenges into opportunities". 

"In Jordan, we have security and safety, which is what investors are looking for."

He stressed that Jordan's greatest challenge during the past decade has been unemployment, especially among university graduates, despite the Kingdom's "highly skilled, educated workforce".

He noted that services provided to companies outside of Jordan create employment opportunities for Jordanians, adding that youth comprise 33 per cent of workers in these companies.

The government has an incentives policy for exporters, employers of youth and investors in governorates outside of the capital that includes returning part of these companies' taxes in exchange for their employment of Jordanian citizens, Razzaz said.

Regarding the Kingdom's business environment, Razzaz noted that Jordan has jumped 29 ranks in the World Bank’s 2020 Doing Business Report. In terms of its ability to obtain financing, the Kingdom rose from 134th to become fourth in the world.

Calling attention to the education sector, the prime minister affirmed that Jordanian students have shown "tremendous improvement" in the Programme for International Student Assessment exam, noting that, in regards to progress made in the exam, Jordan is among the top three countries.

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