Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Assessing Jordan's Economy

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Assessing Jordan's Economy

Article excerpt

Jordanian Minister of Finance Umayya Salah Toukan and Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Ibrahim Saif assessed Jordan's economy at an Oct. 10 roundtable discussion hosted by the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East in Washington, DC.

The two ministers described the challenges facing Jordan's economic growth and political stability, including subsidy reform, income inequality, regional turmoil and an influx of refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war.

A key challenge confronting Jordan is how to balance the fiscal consolidation required by an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan program with job creation and economic growth amid growing regional instability. The IMF has disbursed $774 million of a promised total of $2 billion to Jordan.

Minister Saif estimated that there are currently 1 million refugees living in Jordan, putting additional stress on Jordan's economy. "The cost of hosting the Syrians is really consuming our efforts, consuming our resources," Saif said. Instead of focusing on how to enhance the competitiveness of the Jordanian economy, the country is struggling to accommodate the growing number of Syrian refugees, he added. …

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