Amman, (Petra) ––
Prime Minister Omar Razzaz said that despite
regional geopolitical challenges, Jordan
has developed a matrix of integrated actions
over five years that began to pay off, and
that tangible progress was made in "our
economic indicators in 2019."
"We are forging ahead
with restructuring our national economy
in the medium term in order to be able to
bear the various burdens imposed by the
conditions in the region, particularly the
repercussions of the Syrian refugee crisis
on Jordan," Razzaz said in an interview
with the CNBC Arabia Television at the World
Economic Forum in Davos last week.
He said in the interview,
which was aired Monday evening, that Jordan
realized that it had to put its house in
order economically, with a focus on Jordanian
youth, its key resource and wealth, through
empowering them to enter public life and
the labor market.
The premier reviewed the key
indicators the economy had made in a host
of sectors, pointing to the growth in the
information and communications technology
(ICT) sector, which reached 11 percent,
compared with an estimated 2 per cent economic
growth in the region.
He referred to a "significant
growth" in the sector's export services,
which are mainly remote services that Jordan
provides to companies in the Arab Gulf states
"Our national exports
have grown by 9 per cent through encouraging
small- and medium-sized enterprises to export
and benefit from the international agreements
(the Kingdom signed)," he pointed out.
The tourism sector had also
witnessed a growth of about 10 per cent
as a result of low-cost air travel to Jordan
as large tourist groups began arriving to
visit tourist attractions, the prime minister
Razzaz also said Jordan had
advanced to the 29th rank in the Doing Business
Report, just as it ranked fourth globally
in the ease of getting credit, having advanced
from rank 134th.
"These figures did not
come from a vacuum, but were the result
of steps and measures taken by the government
to improve the business environment,"
he said, adding that the government had
the ambition to achieve more in the five-year
The prime minister said that
Jordan is in a volatile region and it had
taken the brunt of the refugee crisis as
the Kingdom "warmly" received
large numbers of displaced Syrians in the
past decade, who now live "among their
families and brothers". But such circumstances
had placed pressure on the Jordanian economy
and the labor market, he pointed out.
He said that the countries
of the region and the world should help
Jordan bear the burden of refugees as the
annual cost of hosting them amounts to $2.4
billion, according to World Bank estimates,
and added that Jordan had only received
62% of the cost in 2018 and 42% in 2019.
He voiced his fear that the
issue of Syrian refugees will be "marginalized",
stating that the refugees "are still
present on our land, and that those are
the builders of the future of Syria,"
pointing to the directives of His Majesty
King Abdullah II not to leave a Syrian child
or any child of any other nationality outside
of education and healthcare.
Razzaz called on the world,
particularly brotherly Arab countries, to
help Jordan "in this critical stage"
as the Kingdom forges with real and drastic
economic reforms that will contribute to
creating job opportunities, increasing exports
and launching future mega projects.