Interview: Prime Minister Hani Al Mulki
How will the Jordan Economic Growth Plan (JEGP) 2018-22 support Jordan Vision 2025?
HANI AL MULKI: The JEGP aims to revive economic momentum and expand the country’s development capabilities by creating sector-specific economic and financial programmes to support the policies laid out in Jordan Vision 2025. The plan seeks to place Jordan on the path of sustainable development, to build a strong economy that is able to remain resilient in the face of regional and international challenges, and to minimise dependency on foreign support by expanding business and investment opportunities.
The programme is also designed to create jobs and develop human resources, in addition to preparing government institutions to provide quality services and enhance the rule of law. The JEGP will provide a framework for measuring the country’s progress and achievement thanks to precise key performance indicator’s (KPIs). The Economic Policy Council will then be able to follow up on these KPIs to evaluate the effectiveness of the plans implementation.
What role do public private partnerships (PPPs) play in accelerating capital investment projects?
AL MULKI: Jordan has embarked on an ambitious PPP programme with the broad objective of driving economic growth and increasing employment through well-defined partnerships in the infrastructure, utilities and services sectors. Given chronic fiscal turbulence, Jordan has had to leverage private sector resources through PPPs to meet infrastructure development requirements. These partnerships constitute a catalyst for growth and a key mechanism for achieving our national development goals.
Enhancing an environment conducive to private investments – supported by a strong political will, an apt regulatory framework and a high level of transparency – is at the core of the new era of private sector-led development that we want to foster in Jordan. It is worth mentioning that Jordan has several ongoing PPP pilot projects, which include the Queen Alia International Airport expansion, a medical and industrial waste treatment facility at Al Ghabawi Landfill, a wastewater treatment plant at the Dead Sea, a five-star eco-hotel near Petra and a municipal waste recycling plant serving Greater Amman, among others.
To enhance PPP implementation, the government has issued a legal and regulatory framework for PPP projects. Other measures are being finalised to increase investment, such as opening the local banking sector to long-term PPP financing in local currency.
What is being done to increase international support and alleviate the ongoing humanitarian burden brought about by the conflict in Syria?
AL MULKI: Led by the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, the Jordan Response Platform for the Syria Crisis constitutes the primary strategic partnership mechanism for the development of a comprehensive response to the impact of the refugee crisis. A comprehensive response plan was adopted in June 2017 – which provides a three year vision, covering 2017-19 – to ensure that interventions are better integrated, sequenced and implemented.
Jordan has collaborated closely with the international community to put in place response proposals that provide full vulnerability assessments, long-term strategy and a transparent reporting mechanism. As part of ongoing efforts to further improve Jordan’s overall response to the impact of the crisis in Syria, we signed the Jordan Compact during the 2016 Supporting Syria and the Region Conference in London. Through this agreement, the government seeks to transform the refugee crisis into an opportunity to foster mutually beneficial development, attracting new investments, opening up the EU market and simplifying rules of origin as a means of generating employment for both Jordanians and Syrian refugees.
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