must be patient to get the fruits of reforms as benefits of change take time
by Omar Obeidat
May 29/5/2012 -
DEAD SEA –– Jordan on Monday urged the European Bank for Reconstruction
and Development (EBRD) to support the Kingdom’s economic priorities through
financial and technical assistance.
In a speech
delivered on behalf of Prime Minister Fayez Tarawneh by Planning and
International Cooperation Minister Jafar Hassan at the Transition to Transition
(T2T) initiative, the premier called on EBRD to play a tangible role in boosting
investments in competitive sectors.
He said Jordan
needs to double the current gross domestic product growth to over 6 per cent in
order to reduce unemployment and create job opportunities to thousands of
priorities, the premier added that Jordan needs to achieve inclusive and
sustainable economic growth to protect marginalised and underprivileged segments
of the society.
indicated that Jordan is working to implement strategic water, energy and
transportation projects of regional dimension, noting that the Kingdom needs to
generate at least 200 megawatt of renewable energy every year in order to
achieve the 2020 national energy strategy.
initiative is a framework within which the EBRD is facilitating and developing a
peer to peer exchange of transition and reform experience between the bank’s
current countries of operations, central and eastern Europe (CEE), and countries
of the southern and eastern Mediterranean region.
meetings, held yesterday on the eastern shores of the Dead Sea, dozens of public
and private sector experts from Jordan had the opportunity to hear from their
peers in these countries that have successfully implemented transition.
EBRD, the meetings aim at understanding short-and medium-term priorities for
Jordan, particularly the private sector.
At a plenary
session on understanding the economic challenges facing Jordan, through
transition and reform insights from central and eastern Europe, Ivan Miklos,
former deputy prime minister and minister of finance of Slovak Republic, said
his country came through difficult years during the transition period after its
independence in 1993 but stressed that the political will to implement reforms
worked out in attracting investments.
Due to economic
and political reforms, Miklos said Slovakia’s economic growth picked up after
2000 and the credit rating of the former communist country improved, enabling
the country to be one of the top car manufacturers in the world.
Bielecki, former prime minister of Poland, said geography has served his country
well during the transition period as Poland was well-fitted to the German
Poland was able to escape the recession that hit Europe, Bielecki credited
labour costs for keeping Poland’s economy competitive and an attractive
destination for investors.
wages of many emerging European countries, such as Greece, have grown sharply in
the past years which hit their competitiveness,” he explained.
former European commissioner for consumer protection and former minister of
European affairs of Bulgaria, said Jordanians must be patient to get the fruits
of reforms as benefits of change take time.
decision makers in Jordan to consult the people in drafting policies that aim to
empower them and improve their lives.
political and economic reforms in Jordan are underway, Hassan said the
government seeks to gain the confidence of the people through political and
“This goal, if
achieved, will encourage local and foreign investors to carry out development
projects in the Kingdom,” he said.
added that in mid 1990s income per capita in Jordan was similar to those in
Turkey, Croatia and Slovakia, but due to increasing productivity and innovation
in these countries, incomes of people more than doubled those of Jordanians in
the past 16 years.
EBRD, the benefits of moving to a more open and accountable government and
economy are attractive to many stakeholders of society, but they may only
materialise in the medium and longer term. During the period of transition,
uncertainty can cause slowdown in investment, and political and economic
challenges can emerge in the immediate term, the bank suggests.
Session in the
T2T meeting include topics about promoting growth and employment through
development of small and medium enterprises, modernising the agribusiness value
chain and investing in food security, preparing for a sustainable energy future
and financing private enterprise to support competitiveness, innovation and
inclusive employment among others.