Planning and International Cooperation Minister Jafar Hassan on Sunday said the main challenge facing the national economy is the slowdown in economic growth which averaged around 6 per cent during the last ten years and reached a third of what was recorded in the past decade.
Addressing a symposium held by the University of Jordan and the Columbia University Middle East Research Centre, the minister indicated that the slowdown has affected per capita income growth and kept poverty and unemployment rates fixed over the last four years.
According to Hassan, all these factors largely influenced the social development and the state revenues in the past years restricting the state’s capabilities whether in terms of capital or recurrent spending or employment. Hassan attributed the slowdown to regional and international factors, starting with the global economic crisis, the Arab Spring and the drop in investments.
Highlighting the need for creating job opportunities and enhancing the economic growth in light of the recent developments in the regional arena, the minister underlined the importance of controlling current spending, noting that it accounts for the largest portion of local revenues, which barely covers 77 percent of the spending. Hassan revered past achievements saying Jordan managed during the past decade to exit the economic reform programme and reduce the public debt to its lowest level in the history of the Kingdom.
The Jordan Times