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Economic Development & Energy

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ACCELERATING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Economic Growth Accelerated

JORDAN

Jordan’s economy benefits from its well-educated population, strategic location, world-heritage tourism sites, and a reputation for stability in a turbulent region. The economy grew steadily from 1999 to 2008 as the Government of Jordan promoted economic reform with social and political development. However, the global economic crisis and more recent regional instability have caused this progress to slow, adding significant economic pressure in a number of areas.

Jobs are scarce outside large cities and are not being created fast enough to absorb a young, growing workforce whose education and skills do not always match the market’s needs. Businesses in Jordan face a challenging regulatory environment and limited access to capital and services that could support innovation and growth. Jordanians need resources and opportunities to succeed in an increasingly global economy.

USAID works with the Government of Jordan to create economic and employment opportunities, improve the country’s competitiveness, and expand growth within the private sector so that everyone in Jordan has the opportunity to contribute to a brighter future.

AREAS OF FOCUS

AN INTERNATIONALLY COMPETITIVE PRIVATE SECTOR

Innovation and entrepreneurship are essential for Jordan to remain competitive in the global economy. USAID works with the Government of Jordan to facilitate policies and regulations that foster a better business-enabling environment, to encourage business growth across key sectors with high potential like tourism and information and communications technology; and to increase access to finance for micro, small, and medium sized businesses in order to expand job opportunities and accelerate the Kingdom’s economic growth.

INCLUSIVE AND ACCESSIBLE JOBS

Women and youth in Jordan face disproportionately high unemployment rates, and less than one-fifth of women participate in the workforce. USAID works with the government, the private sector, and local organizations to address barriers to employment. To ensure that more people in Jordan, including women and youth, have the skills and opportunities that match the market’s needs, USAID trains individuals to gain skills that meet the economy’s demands and supports the establishment and expansion of home-based businesses.

STRONG PUBLIC FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

Strong, transparent public financial management enables the government to use public resources more efficiently and contributes to financial sustainability. USAID helps governing institutions establish tighter controls on government expenditures, increase budget transparency to build accountability and reduce opportunities for corruption, and support local enterprise driven development to encourage innovation and reduce dependence on the public sector.

NOTEWORTHY ACHIEVEMENTS:

  • Micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises employ 70 percent of Jordan’s private sector workforce, and their success can drive the Kingdom’s economic stability and prosperity. USAID-supported business development services have expanded work opportunities for thousands of people and yielded over $1 billion in new investments since 2006.
  • At its peak in 2010, tourism contributed 14 percent of Jordan’s gross domestic product before being derailed by regional instability. USAID has supported the regrowth of the tourism sector in Jordan, including through facilitating over $25 million worth of investments in the sector from August 2016 to April 2018. As such, tourism is one of the top five contributors to the gross domestic product and represents the largest private sector employer of Jordanians.
  • USAID facilitated Jordan’s use of the Jordan-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, with trade between Jordan and the United States increasing from $568 million in 2001 to almost $3 billion in 2018. International trade agreements make it possible for Jordan to access new markets and grow their businesses. These opportunities translate into increased economic productivity, expanded employment for the people of Jordan, and longerterm growth and stability.
  • In 2016, the Government of Jordan, with the support of USAID, adopted the Governmental Financial Management Information System. This automated, consolidated financial and accounting network increase  the transparency of public financial data and provides accurate, comprehensive, and timely information to strengthen financial management. This increases the efficiency of the usage of public funds and reduces opportunities for corruption and mismanagement so that governing institutions are better able to meet the needs of the country.

Current Projects:

USAID Jordan Competitiveness Program

Last updated: August 15, 2019

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