The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday, February 20, expressed satisfaction with the performance of the Jordanian economy, saying that the government has achieved positive steps and been successful in implementing the IMF-recommended economic restructuring program in the past years, reported the official Petra news agency.
During a meeting with Prime Minister Ali Abu Al-Ragheb and Finance Minister Michel Marto, David Burton, head of a visiting IMF delegation, said the Kingdom has succeeded in its privatization of public institutions, its balance of payments and its monetary and financial policies, reported Petra.
Applauding the Jordanian government's policies, which have resulted in reducing the country's foreign debt, Burton said this development will contribute to reducing the deficit in the fiscal budget and help in achieving financial stability.
“The object of this visit is to reach agreement on the program for the coming year which is supported under the extended arrangement,” Burton was quoted by the agency “Every year we come about this time to agree with the government on the economic policies of the coming year which we support under our financing and our extended arrangements. So this is a thing that we have done every year for the past two years, and this is the final year of the extended arrangement. As I said progress has been very good and we are very pleased with the performance of the Jordanian economy.”
According to Burton, Jordan‘s “economic growth has picked up and the budget deficit has been reduced and the public debt burden has been reduced too, while the balance of payments position has been strengthened enormously and the reserves are now at an extremely comfortable level, getting close to three billion dollars. So the economic performance has been strong.”
In presenting an IMF assessment of Jordan's economic situation, Burton said the Jordanian economy, which started to witness economic growth over the past two years, is expected to see more improvements in the coming stage despite the developments in the occupied Palestinian territories.
According to , the IMF team attributed the success also to Jordan's recent amendments to the country's economic and financial laws and measures to reduce public expenditure aimed at cutting the deficit in the fiscal budget.
Abu Al-Ragheb outlined the government's economic policies and plans for further economic reforms stressing that the government will pursue the economic restructuring program on different tracks in order to achieve sustainable development and improve Jordanians' living standards. He told the IMF team that Jordan will submit a memorandum to the Arab summit meeting in Amman next month outlining its views on inter-Arab economic cooperation.
The IMF team arrived in Jordan this week to conduct an assessment of the third phase of the country's economic restructuring program, which started in 1999 and which is due to end by April 2002. The team, which has held meetings with officials at the Central Bank of Jordan and the Ministry of Finance, discussed the extension of the program for this year. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
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