Jordan - Future trends

The change in leadership following the death of King Hussein concerned the international community because many countries were unsure as to whether the young king would be capable of successfully taking a fragile economy into the 21st century. However, King Abdullah has shown the international community that he is committed to continuing the economic liberalization of Jordan. If macroeconomic policy continues to be well managed, the Jordanian people will enjoy increased foreign investment, increased privatization, and steady growth over the next few years. Forecasters put the future annual GDP growth as high as 4 or 5 percent.

Following the adoption of the IMF structural adjustment program, the government also hopes to expand the tourism industry, increase exports, and reduce interest rates in order to boost the economy. Nevertheless, the extent to which the Jordanian economy can grow is somewhat dependent on the events that will take place in neighboring Israel and the Occupied Territories during the course of 2001. If the violence continues in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and indeed if a war were to break out between the Palestinians and Israelis, Jordan's tourism industry would come to a halt. In addition, potential investors would be very unwilling to risk putting their money into a region that might possibly be on the brink of war.

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