Jordan’s economy benefits from a well-educated population, strategic location, world heritage tourism sites and a reputation for stability in a turbulent region. The economy grew steadily from 1999-2008, as the government advanced economic reform alongside social and political development. More recently, the global economic crisis has undermined progress by reducing the demand for exports, remittances from expatriate Jordanians, tourism receipts, and foreign direct investment. In addition, increases in population, water scarcity, and the near total reliance on imported energy create economic challenges. Jobs are scarce outside large cities and aren’t created fast enough to absorb the growing workforce, whose education and skills often do not match labor market needs. Business development is hampered by a lack of skills, access to capital, regulatory challenges, and innovation.
Our program in Jordan has grown from building roads to building a more diverse and globally competitive economy. During the past decade, USAID supported macroeconomic reforms and deficit reduction; promoted trade, investment and job creation; enhanced competitiveness of the private sector; created new jobs; and developed workforce skills. Our programs continue to focus on ensuring that resources and economic benefits are equally shared among all, including Jordan’s poor, women and youth.
Our impacts in this sector include:
- Facilitated Jordan’s accession to the World Trade Organization and its use of the Jordan – U.S. Free Trade Agreement for large increases in exports.
- Created more than 70,000 jobs by improving Jordan’s productivity levels in such sectors as tourism, IT, packaging, and medical and financial services.
- Prepared hundreds of thousands of students (91,000 in 2011 alone) for the job market through a nationwide entrepreneurship program, vocational training in the tourism-hospitality sectors, and internships and regional job fairs for recent graduates.
- Supported government-wide implementation of a new Government Financial Management Information System to increase transparency, controls and accountability.
Last updated: June 04, 2013