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High-profile delegation to discuss 2nd review with IMF in US

A team from the fund is due in Amman in May

By Mohammad Ghazal - Apr 12,2018 - Last updated at Apr 12,2018

AMMAN — Jordan is expected to receive $175 million from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after the completion of the second review of the country’s economy, Minister of Finance Omar Malhas said on Thursday.

“A government delegation will head to the US next week for discussions with the IMF on the second economic review and to look into progress made under the programme and how to proceed with the reform scheme,” Malhas told The Jordan Times on Thursday.

The delegation will include ministers of finance, planning and international cooperation and the governor of the Central Bank of Jordan.

A delegation from the IMF is expected to visit Jordan in May to conduct the second review of the country’s economy as part of the $700 million Extended Fund Facility (EFF) reached with the lender in 2016, according to Malhas.

“After the review is completed, we expect the IMF to release the second tranche of the programme that is estimated at $175 million,” said the minister.

Amounts released under the EFF are deposited at the Central Bank of Jordan, according to Malhas.

A delegation from the fund conducted the first review of Jordan’s economy in November 2016, after the 36-month EFF programme was approved three months earlier.

The government had then announced a set of immediate fiscal measures to raise revenues and cut spending in line with the IMF deal, starting January 2017. 

Under the new deal, the government and the IMF agreed on six conditions that aim at reducing public debt to safe levels and stimulating the economy. 

According to latest figures released by the ministry on Wednesday, overall public debt in Jordan reached JD27.458 billion at the end of February, accounting for 95.8 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP), compared with JD27.269 billion, or 95.3 per cent of the GDP, at the end of 2017.

In August 2015, Jordan completed a three-year Stand-By Arrangement with the IMF, involving a nearly $2 billion loan.

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