Jordan announces 2025 development plan; economy to grow by at least 4.8 percent

Published May 12th, 2015 - 06:36 GMT

His Majesty King Abdullah on Monday attended the launch of "Jordan 2025", the 10-year blueprint for economic and social development.

The plan, also dubbed “2025 vision”, is based on two scenarios, a conservative one that assumes that the economy would grow by 4.8 per cent in 10 years, and an ambitious scenario that suggests the economy would expand by 7.5 per cent in 2025, Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour said in his remarks at the ceremony. 

The premier said the ambitious scenario is still realistic. 

The launch of the document was also attended by Her Majesty Queen Rania, senior officials, lawmakers, and private sector and media representatives. 

The prime minister said the document features a long-term vision for Jordan's economy that includes over 400 policies and measures to be implemented by the government, private sector and civil society to support economic development in the coming decade. 

He added that these policies and procedures seek to boost the rule of law and equal opportunity, and achieve financial sustainability and self-sufficiency. 

Ensour described drawing up a realistic vision for Middle East countries as a gamble due to wars and unexpected turns of events in the region. 

Taking into account unforeseen and accelerating regional uncertainties, he said the vision is flexible as it could be reviewed and adjusted periodically to respond to regional and local developments. 

Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Imad Fakhoury said the main objectives of the blueprint are to address the challenges of rising living costs, poverty and unemployment and to lead the community to a more prosperous level in the coming 10 years. 

Fakhoury said the vision is based on 20 developmental priorities derived from four pillars representing the key players in the plan: citizens who are highly motivated to participate in the development process, a secure and stable society, a dynamic private sector that is able to compete internationally, and a competent and effective government sector.

On how to improve the economic situation, the blueprint envisions Jordan as a regional economic gateway to regional markets that is also taking advantage of free trade agreements the Kingdom has signed with several countries in order to achieve an export-oriented economy, the minister said. 

The formula used in the blueprint, Fakhoury explained, is based on the concept of economic clusters based on the cooperative advantages of the Kingdom, adding that the vision aims at achieving relatively high economic growth rates and a tangible drop in unemployment and public debt, which planners expect to decline to 47 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2025. 

Currently, the debt ratio to the GDP is nearly 81 per cent.

On the implementation of the scheme, the minister said it would be carried out through three executive programmes, adding the government has recently started preparations for the 2016-18 executive development programme, which is the first phase of the vision’s implementation. 

Ensour said that a special unit was established at the Prime Ministry to follow up on progress made in implementing the executive programmes and to report progress to the public. 

In March this year, the King sent a letter to Ensour directing the government to prepare a plan that would result in a stronger economy, in both macroeconomic and monetary aspects, and ensure consistency, increased competitiveness, productivity and self-reliance.

The ultimate goal, His Majesty said, is to achieve comprehensive development and ensure Jordanians are secured a “decent living and hope for a better future."

This economic blueprint should have a comprehensive framework that seeks to realise the following: enhancing financial and monetary policies and assuring their consistency; improving economic competitiveness; and enhancing values of high productivity and self-reliance to realise sustainable and comprehensive development, the Monarch said in the letter.   

Key targets included in the Jordan 2025 vision

The Jordan 2025 economic vision seeks to increase GDP growth rate from 3.1 per cent to7.5 per cent in 2025.

The vision also seeks to reduce poverty rate from a current 14 per cent to 8 per cent and decrease unemployment rate from 12.2 per cent to 8-9.2 per cent.

In addition, the vision aims to raise women’s participation in the labour market from 15 per cent to 24 per cent.

By Omar Obeida

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