MINISTER OF PLANNING AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
Jordan 2016 I Politics & Diplomacy I Leader
BIOGRAPHY Since 2014, he serves as a Senator and Chairperson of King Abdullah II Fund for Development. He has previously served as Chief of Staff of His Majesty King Abdullah II, Minister of Public Sector Development, Minister of State for Mega Projects, Chairman and CEO of the Aqaba Development Corporation, among other positions in the public and private sectors.
WE HAVE IDENTIFIED NEARLY $20 BILLION IN INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN DIFFERENT SECTORS OF THE ECONOMY.
JORDAN RESPONSE PLAN TO THE SYRIA CRISIS 2016-2018
We are facing a global crisis without precedent in recent history, demanding a collective response commensurate with the scale of the challenge. Five years into what has been called the greatest humanitarian crisis of our time, Jordan continues to uphold its moral obligations, carrying more than its fair share of the response and providing a global public good on behalf of the region and the international community. To date, around 1.4 million Syrians have sought refuge within Jordan’s borders, growing Jordan’s population by almost 20%, placing untenable strain on the country’s social and economic systems, institutions, and threatening to undermine decades of developmental progress.
Jordan’s holistic approach on the economic response to the Syrian refugee crisis is based on three main pillars. The first is turning the Syrian refugee crisis into a development opportunity that attracts new investments and opens up the EU market with simplified rules of origin and creates jobs for Jordanians and Syrian refugees whilst supporting the post-conflict Syrian economy. The second pillar is rebuilding Jordanian host communities by adequately financing, through grants, the Jordan Response Plan (2016-2018) to ensure the resilience of host communities. The third pillar entails mobilising sufficient grants and concessionary financing to support the macroeconomic framework and to address Jordan’s financing needs over the next three years as it enters a new Extended Fund Facility agreement with the IMF.
This approach will also enable Jordan to secure funding worth $1.9 billion for 2016, 2017 and 2018 through soft loans. This means $5.7 billion as concessionary funding for the period of 2016-2018 that offers soft loans instead of the costly borrowing. In addition to this, there are grants of $300 million over the next three years, a total of $900 million.
We are open for business and we want new investments that will create jobs for Jordanians and initiatives that can create also jobs for Syrian refugees in a manner that is not at the expense of Jordanians and in areas where Jordan has non-Jordanian labour. We have been working with the international community to engage the private sector to provide benefits for both investors and refugees. The benefits include access to an expanded, formal workforce as Syrian refugees will be provided with work permits and allowed to work in Special Economic Zones as well as labour-intensive sectors.Other benefits include additional incentives for early mover investors through grants for training and visas to incentivise job creation, improved trade access to the EU for goods and services made in Jordan and access to expanded public procurement programmes.
Within the new vision, Jordan 2025, our objective is to re-launch growth and investment in the Kingdom, while deepening reform and inclusion. We have identified nearly $20 billion in investment opportunities in different sectors of the economy, including: energy, transport, water, infrastructure, urban development, tourism and ICT; to be delivered through PPPs. Jordan has become a model for successful PPPs and $7 billion worth of projects have been implemented with this model in various sectors, including power generation, renewable energy, water and transport.
Jordan 2025 was prepared through a comprehensive national consultative process seeking to achieve a prosperous, resilient, and inclusive economy driven by innovation, public private partnerships. Jordan 2025 includes over 400 policy measures to be implemented by different actors to support sustainable economic development over the coming decade. As per the new vision, Jordan seeks by the year 2025 to increase GDP growth rate from 3.1 percent to 7.5 percent in 2025, outstanding public debt to about 60 percent, reduce poverty rate from a current 14 percent to 8 percent, and decrease unemployment rate from 12.2 percent to about 9 percent, while increasing women’s participation in the labor market from 15 percent to 24 percent.Additionally, Jordan 2025 focuses on a number of existing, emerging, and high potential clusters for growth, including: construction and engineering, transport and logistics, tourism and events, healthcare services, life sciences, digital and business services, education, high value added agriculture, and financial services.
The world can continue counting on Jordan remaining and indispensable global partner and safe haven and oasis of stability, in peace making and peace keeping, in inter and intra
faith dialogue, in fighting extremism and terrorism; and in pursuing an inclusive, sustainable, evolutionary and comprehensive reform process that strengthens stakeholding, active citizenship, empowers our citizens, raises the standards of living along a path of openness, moderation, respect, and dialogue.