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Important testimonies in the Monetary Fund audit report

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Fayeq Hijazin

The audit report on the performance of the national economy under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) highlights positive outcomes both in terms of the program’s indicators and the external challenges faced by the Jordanian economy amidst global economic uncertainties.

Maintaining macroeconomic stability in the face of successfully overcoming recent external shocks is a noteworthy achievement, as acknowledged by the Fund in its review report. Despite local, regional, and international conditions, the Jordanian government has achieved economic growth, albeit below the desired levels. These successes should serve as a foundation to build upon, strengthen, and maximize the benefits derived from measures that have propelled growth in a positive direction.

Promoting the private sector, enhancing the performance of companies listed on the Amman Stock Exchange, improving work and production efficiency, ensuring good governance, and strengthening regulatory oversight at various levels, from regulatory institutions to public shareholding companies, internal control mechanisms, and external audits, are all instrumental in fostering growth. Additionally, the growth of the tourism sector and the significant increase in activity within it will play an active role in boosting sector-level and macroeconomic growth.

The report acknowledges progress in controlling public finances, particularly in terms of revenue collection, especially taxes, with increased efficiency and reduced rates of tax evasion and avoidance. However, there is still a need to review expenditure efficiency, particularly when assessing service levels relative to expenditure volumes.

It is crucial to subjectively evaluate performance rather than relying solely on a growth rate of 2.6%, which may not be sufficient to generate new job opportunities and address the persistent issue of unemployment. Despite a decline from its peak, unemployment rates remain high and continue to exert social and economic pressures that necessitate comprehensive, substantive solutions rather than superficial remedies.

The Fund’s opinion holds significant weight, serving as a testament to international institutions and donors that the Jordanian economy has the capability to overcome challenges and achieve notable milestones.

Hijazin is a Jordanian writer, political and economic analyst

This op-ed was first published in Al Rai Arabic Daily Newspaper in Amman-Jordan.