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London’s transformative economics

Mar 02,2019 - Last updated at Mar 02,2019

The messages of the London conference, “Jordan: Growth and Opportunities”, ought to reach “all” ordinary Jordanians in their towns and villages, and must not remain largely a “globalised elite” affair. The newly developed narrative presented by His Majesty King Abdullah at the London conference as a step in a process of transformative economic growth is inspiring and builds hope. Inspiration and hope are the two things ordinary Jordanians need the most these days.

The Royal narrative is inspiring because it is built on sound economic thinking of building “projects pipeline” that should prepare projects with bankable legal and financial structuring to be presented to investors. This is a major step forward, upon which one can build hope that strategic infrastructure projects can be presented to potential investors and get implemented without the usual hurdles of unpreparedness and unnecessary obstruction. The investors, whether “impact investors”, “private funds” or international organisations, I talked to before, during and after the conference, are looking for transparency, reliability and the continuity of policies.

The British government and British Ambassador to Jordan Edward Oakden went out of their way to make this conference come to the successful conclusion it has achieved. In partnership with Jordan, they have managed to ensure the presence of vital partners, who have shown in words and deeds a great deal of political, diplomatic and economic support to Jordan. The World Bank’s representative started her speech by saying “Jordan is open for business,” a phrase that was echoed by many high-profile participants. The UN, the UNDP, which champions the Sustainable Development Goals, the International Monetary Fund, the International Finance Corporation, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank, the Islamic Development Fund and many private investment funds were there and showed eagerness to invest in Jordan’s future.

They were reassured by two major factors. The first is the presence and commitment of strong international and regional partners of Jordan, such as the US, France, the EU, the UK, Canada, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait and Turkey, among many others. The second is the energy of Jordanians, including the vision His Majesty has put forward, the alignment of actors and the driven youth who energised the audience in the hall with their achievements and potential.

As the conference concluded, it was clear to all that Jordan has many wholeheartedly committed global advocates who see a great value for global security in its role and stability. Jordan’s resilience is a testament to the patience and endurance of Jordanians of all walks of life. 

Jordan’s new narrative extends beyond economic transformation to address radicalisation and terrorism. Once again, His Majesty, who was described by the White House a few days ago as “one of our most capable and effective partners in developing credible, alternative narratives... to advance our collective terrorism prevention efforts”, initiated and led the Aqaba process with innovative approaches to ensure global security. Economic prosperity is one of the best ways to give people vulnerable to terrorism a chance to have a good, peaceful alternative.

With all these partners and their relentless support that not only “we can count on each other whatever the weather” in security and economic hardships, but also sew the nexus with education. Jordan’s partners have shown serious support to Her Majesty Queen Rania’s education initiatives, which have turned out to be of great value, especially in the area of professional qualification of teachers. We have an opportunity to expand these programmes to realise long-term economic transformation and growth, achieve security and prevent radicalisation and terrorism.

 

The writer is chairman of NAMA Strategic Intelligence Solutions [email protected]

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