Jordan's Prime minister says Kingdom 'no longer in economic danger zone'
Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour affirmed on Monday Jordan’s sound economic position.
Inaugurating a regional conference on small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs), the premier pointed to local economic indicators and foreign currency reserves as solid proof of real economic growth which accelerated from 2.3 per cent at the end of 2010 to 2.8 per cent last year.
Stressing that the Kingdom was no longer in the economic danger zone, he mentioned that foreign currency reserves went up from $6.6 billion in 2012 to around $12 billion at the end of last year and that the remittances of expatriates have gone up noticeably.
As such, Ensour noted that funds are sufficient to cover the country’s imports for a period of about seven months compared to less than four months during 2012.
The premier expressed appreciation of all the countries that supported the Kingdom during the difficult conditions, especially those related to the Syrian crisis.
Ensour highlighted SMEs’ contribution for the development process, stressing the importance of the conference and the need to arrive at applicable recommendations that can help in providing a decent life for Jordanians.
Last month, the government formed a higher committee to deal with financing SMEs, Ensour indicated, noting that the committee was entrusted with supporting SMEs in all possible ways.
Addressing the attendance, Industry and Trade Minister Hatem Halawani highlighted the government’s efforts to eliminate obstacles facing economy sector and SMEs, in particular.
Jordan Chamber of Industry Chairman Ayman Hatahet highlighted the role of SMEs in dealing with the issue of unemployment, emphasising the role of the private sector in achieving comprehensive and sustainable development.
Entitled “Chambers of Industry and Trade and Business Organisations…Vehicles for Change,” the conference seeks to demonstrate best global practices and to assist SMEs in reaching finance sources.
More than 99 per cent of Jordanian companies are SMEs, accounting for 40 per cent of the gross domestic product and hiring 70 per cent of the overall work force.
Out of 156,000 SMEs, 18,000 are industrial.
Around 300 lecturers and other participants from Kuwait, Egypt, Turkey, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Denmark, and Malaysia besides Jordan are taking part in the conference, organised by the Jordan Chamber of Industry, in cooperation with the Confederation of Danish Industry and the Arab Planning Institute.