Jordan: Critical Reforms for Resilient Recovery and Sustainable Growth – India Education | Latest Education News | Global education news
Amman – The acceleration of the global recovery, improved vaccine deployment and the complete reopening of the national economy are the main drivers of a projected growth rate of 2.2% for this year in Jordan, according to the World Bank. However, increasing cases of COVID in parts of the world, the slow recovery in international tourism and the new variant of COVID remain major downside risks.
The fall 2021 edition of the World Bank’s Jordan Economic Monitor (JEM), En Route to Recovery, places Jordan’s economic recovery at 1.8% for the first half of 2021, after a moderate contraction of 1.6% in 2020. The recovery has been led by the service and industrial sectors, although the performance of some sub-sectors remains below pre-pandemic levels. The pandemic has amplified unemployment, which fell from 19% before the pandemic to 24.8% in the second quarter of 2021.
Fiscal and monetary policies continued to play a key supporting role despite a difficult global environment. In the first seven months of 2021, domestic revenues recorded robust growth, supported by a rebound in economic activity, increased imports and fiscal administration measures. This has helped the Jordanian government to stay on the path of fiscal consolidation. Accommodative monetary policies and an output gap also helped the recovery and kept inflation low.
Although Jordan’s external sector remains under pressure, reflecting the impact of unfavorable terms of trade (especially rising global commodity prices) and improving domestic demand, central bank reserves increased by nearly US $ 1 billion between late December 2020 and September 2021, aided by favorable monetary policy and external financing.
JEM has two special sections, Measuring Jordan’s Overall Wealth Using a Nation Wealth Approach, and Public Transport Challenges in Jordan. The first presents an overall assessment of the country’s national wealth from 1995 to 2018, based on the World Bank’s nation wealth methodology, and reveals that the per capita gap between Jordan and middle-income countries in the upper slice widened. The section highlights the need for Jordan to diversify its national wealth portfolio, reverse the declining share of human capital in its economy, and increase its capital stock.
The second special section discusses the challenges Jordanians face in public transport that has led to low ridership and limited access, especially for women, youth and people with disabilities. The report describes policy reforms that could improve Jordan’s public transport system and trigger a move away from private car use. Transport connectivity and inclusive and sustainable growth are inextricably linked. Improving public transport is a key factor for economic growth, in particular by creating jobs and reducing energy consumption and pollutant emissions.
âJordan has done well in responding to the ongoing pandemic crisis through rapid social assistance to the poor and vulnerable, timely support to small businesses and continued efforts to accelerate economic and structural reforms,â said Saroj Kumar Jha , World Bank regional director for the Mashreq. âIn order to realize the full potential of all Jordanians, especially women and youth, Jordan will need to prioritize the challenges of the public transport system to ensure safe, accessible and affordable transport. “
As the Jordanian government moves in the right direction to improve public transport, further steps are needed to advance public transport sector reforms in a transparent and consultative manner with the private sector and civil society and with a direct focus on the objective of making a switch from private cars to public transport.