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The story of an economy and a nation's determination

Feb 18,2024 - Last updated at Feb 18,2024

Jordan is classified by international institutions as a low- to middle-income country, with a small, open economy, limited natural resources, especially those discovered and exploited, interconnected with the global economy, and possessing the ability to quickly adapt and absorb shocks.

The Jordanian economy has been subjected to several shocks throughout its history: Economic, financial and banking, as well as various political, security and health shocks, all of which had economic and financial effects. Jordan has never emerged from a crisis or shock without entering into another, often stronger one. Some of these crises had a significant and clear impact on the structure and composition of the national economy, while others had a marginal effect, and some even altered Jordan's demographic makeup. The Jordanian economy has managed to address these shocks and crises and mitigate their consequences to varying degrees. Yet, the impact of some of them still persists on the structure of the Jordanian economy and some of its sectors to this day.

These shocks challenged the flexibility of the economy and its ability to adapt, revealing challenges and opportunities for achieving sustainable growth. However, successive crises, regional instability, and, more recently, the global pandemic, have left difficult economic impacts, with poverty and unemployment rates reaching unprecedented levels. Some of these crises also affected inflation rates, pushing them beyond the familiar monetary stability described in economic literature. Furthermore, some led to an increase in the trade deficit and the deficit in the general budget, resulting in elevated levels of government debt surpassing acceptable limits for years.

Despite these challenges, the Jordanian economy has witnessed significant developments over the past decade, both in terms of production and employment, as well as openness to the external world. Economic sectors have undergone radical structural changes in their contributions to the Gross Domestic Product.

The Jordanian economy has demonstrated its ability to adapt to external and internal shocks, with Jordan showing, in most cases, effective and efficient crisis management.

The Jordanian economy has gradually transformed into a primarily service-based economy. The development of the government sector and the increase in its economic role have contributed to strengthening the role of the service sector. Today, the services sector employs more than two-thirds of the workforce in the national economy and contributes to nearly the same percentage of the Gross Domestic Product. This indicates the Jordanian economy's evolution towards diversifying sectors and increasing the importance of service sectors in the national economy.

The Jordanian economy has not been immune to regional and global economic developments due to its openness to the global economy through foreign trade and direct foreign investment, in addition to the impact of remittances from Jordanian workers abroad, which have significantly increased with the growth of the Jordanian workforce abroad.

The impact of crises and shocks on the Jordanian economy cannot be ignored, as the economy heavily depends on external factors and stability in the regional and global arenas.

Therefore, it is imperative for policymakers to closely monitor how these crises and shocks affect the implementation of national economic plans, strategies and policies, and how, sometimes, these shocks may force some plans to stumble or deviate from their predetermined path, prompting decision-makers to rethink and restructure priorities.

On the other hand, these shocks can also be an opportunity to develop new strategies and improve the ability to plan and prepare to face difficult challenges.

The journey through Jordan's economic history since 1921 until 2022, as documented in the first edition of the book published by the Royal Hashemite Documentation Centre last week, under the title: “The Jordanian economy, financial and economic crises, Adaptation, and Overcoming Challenges 1921-2022. “, was filled with challenges, shocks and crises, yet, it also witnessed strong determination, resilience, adaptability and steadfastness.

Throughout this period, the Jordanian economy has overcome numerous crises, from internal disturbances to regional conflicts and global crises. It has succeeded forcefully and resolutely in overcoming all these challenges and difficulties, paving its way to the future on a solid foundation, thanks to the wise leadership vision and the strong spirit of its people.

This is the story of an evolving economy that has carved out an important place in a rapidly changing world, embodying the determination of the nation with all its conscious and cohesive components to achieve progress and build a prosperous future.

It is acknowledged that the path to economic stability and growth is filled with successes and challenges alike. The journey continues, and the lessons learned from the history of the Jordanian economy are invaluable guides as Jordan always faces future challenges with the spirit of resilience to overcome what awaits in the future.

Jordan, with its political institutions and wise leadership, remains an example to be followed in confronting economic and political challenges with determination and resilience. The Jordanian state is earnestly working on developing economic and social strategies that contribute to achieving stability and sustainable growth. Moreover, the Jordanian economy reflects its ability to respond to challenges and crises effectively, demonstrating its capacity to adapt and deal with shocks wisely and resolutely. May God protect Jordan.

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