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PM details state economic indicators, gov’t priorities 

‘A Year of Modernisation’ forum at Dead Sea reviews comprehensive modernisation project

By JT - Aug 27,2023 - Last updated at Aug 27,2023

Prime Minister Bisher Khasawneh speaks during the inauguration of the 'A Year of Modernisation' forum at the Dead Sea on Friday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — Prime Minister Bisher Khasawneh on Friday inaugurated the “A Year of Modernisation” forum, which the government held on the one-year anniversary of the Economic Modernisation Vision and the Public Sector Modernisation Roadmap.

Over 600 officials, experts and specialists participated in the forum, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. 

In his opening remarks at the King Hussein Convention Centre at the Dead Sea area, the prime minister said that the comprehensive modernisation project encompasses interconnected political, economic and administrative paths.

In the government’s 2023 budget, JD670 million has been allocated for the Economic Modernisation Vision, and JD45 million has been reserved for the Public Sector Modernisation roadmap, Khasawneh said.  

Monthly work schedules for the comprehensive reform plan have been prepared for all sectors and ministries, and that the government submits monthly and quarterly performance reports to His Majesty King Abdullah, the prime minister added.

The government has finished creating detailed cards for all priorities in the executive programme for the Economic Modernisation Vision, with 441 priorities covering 127 of 380 initiatives. Additionally, an electronic performance system has been designed for tracking implementation, work progress, performance indicators and achievement rates of all priorities and projects. 

Khasawneh reviewed the general features of the most important achievements to date, stressing that within the framework of the Economic Modernisation Vision, the government has continued to adopt reforms and programmes aimed at enhancing the national economy's competitiveness.

Such policies include restructuring customs fees and reducing energy costs for production sectors through an agreement to deliver natural gas to industrial zones, both of which were adopted last year, Khasawneh said. 

The prime minister also said that the country’s structural and economic reform programmes with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are continuing. Jordan has completed six successful reviews with the IMF’s Extended Fund Facility, where the fund characterised Jordan’s macro-economic status as “assuring”.  

Khasawneh also noted that GDP increased 2.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2023, compared with 2 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2022. 

National exports grew by 2.3 per cent, reaching over JD4.5 billion, and the trade balance deficit went down approximately 10 per cent in the first three months of 2023 compared with the same period of 2022. Investments benefiting from the Investment Law increased by roughly 48 per cent in the first quarter of 2023 compared with the first half of 2022, the prime minister said.

Foreign investment volume reached JD200 million in the first quarter of 2023, with this year’s foreign investment targets hovering around JD785 million (approximately $1 billion). 

The government is targeting a domestic revenue growth of JD9.6 billion for 2023, compared with JD8.9 billion for 2022 and JD7.8 billion for 2019, he added.

The premier stressed that Jordan has a “satisfying” foreign exchange reserve worth some $17.4 billion, covering the value of the Kingdom’s imports for about eight months.  

The government has contained inflationary pressures caused by increased costs of energy and basic food commodities, Khasawneh said, noting that Jordan had an inflation rate of 2.7 per cent as of the end of July, compared with 3.6 per cent in the same period in 2022. The government has set the target of a 3.8 per cent annual inflation rate until the end of 2023, compared with 4.2 per cent in 2022. 

The government is also aiming to reduce this year's budget deficit to 2.9 per cent, compared with 3.7 per cent in 2022 and 6.2 per cent in 2019.  

Tourism income increased 50 per cent during the first seven months of 2023 compared with the same period last year, reaching $4.2 billion, he noted.

As for the Public Sector Modernisation Roadmap, the prime minister said that the government has begun public sector development in terms of institutional development, the development of government services and legislation. 

 

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