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PM discusses economic reform with industrial sector representatives

By JT - Sep 20,2017 - Last updated at Sep 20,2017

Prime Minister Hani Mulki speaks during a meeting with representatives of industrial sector at the Jordan Chamber of Industry on Wednesday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — Prime Minister Hani Mulki on Wednesday said that it is still early to discuss governmental steps regarding the economic reform programme, especially as the budget is set to be approved by the Cabinet mid-November and presented to the Lower House for endorsement later. 

During a meeting with representatives of  industrial sector at the Jordan Chamber of Industry, the premier said that the government is still at the discussion stage regarding the programme, and noted that dialogues will be held with the industrial sector to ensure the benefit of the Kingdom and the national economy, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. 

Mulki stressed that rumours about increased tax rates are untrue, pointing out that there are talks with the IMF mission currently visiting the Kingdom, which means that the government has not reached any final action in this regard.

One year after the programme was implemented, the public debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio has decreased, he said in a statement.  

The prime minister said that the government will conduct a comprehensive study to ensure a just application of the sales tax paid by the national and the import industries to increase incentives for the benefit of local products.

Regarding the free trade agreements signed with foreign countries, Mulki pointed out that the government will work on reviewing all of them. 

He highlighted the Minister of Industry’s visit to Turkey scheduled for the end of this month, as a chance to discuss ways of implementing investments as part of the bilateral free trade agreement, which sought to enhance Turkish industrial investments in the Kingdom.

Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply Yarub Qudah said that the government sees the industrial sector as a “major engine of economic growth”, calling it the “most important” tool for increasing the GDP through exports and expanding the production base.

He said he will visit the Karama-Turaibil border crossing next Sunday, with Minister of Transport Jamil Mujahed, to check on the procedures that facilitate the transit of Jordanian exports to the Iraqi market.

For his part, Chairman of Jordan’s Chamber of Industry Adnan Abul Ragheb noted that the industrial sector achieved a growth rate of 2.7 per cent during the first quarter of this year, recording a 1.2 per cent increase since last year, therefore making the industrial sector a direct contributor to a quarter of the national economy.

He said that the industrial sector works to boost the Kingdom’s foreign exchange reserves by about $9 billion annually, through its export capabilities and ability to attract foreign investments, which creates a fertile environment for job creation.

Abul Ragheb pointed out that the percentage of job opportunities created by the industrial sector amounted to approximately 15.4 per cent of the total work opportunities developed in the Kingdom during the first half of 2016. 

 

He also noted that Jordan’s Chamber of Industry is preparing to hold the Jordanian-European Business Forum for Sellers and Buyers in Frankfurt, Germany, in early November to enhance the presence of Jordanian products in the European market under the Simplification of the Rules of Origin Agreement.

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