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New economic model needed
Mar 12,2017 - Last updated at Mar 12,2017
Although Jordan is facing various security challenges, its major issue is the economy.
It is not a new problem, the economy has always been a major concern for Jordan, but it has evolved over time, and today there is a need for a new economic model for the country.
World politics are changing. In Jordan, it is no longer possible to rely on the same policy of dependence on aid and donations.
While the country retains an important geopolitical position, there has been a distinct shift in the attitude of historic allies, including those from the Gulf countries.
We need new policies that underpin a revised economic model that accounts for these changes.
After several attempts, it is clear that Jordan is in no position to become a business and financial hub like Dubai or Singapore. Jordanian decision makers need to be more realistic when coming up with an economic model, which should bring about the development of rural zones through micro-economic projects that fit into a strategy of food security.
Jordan’s economic development plan in the 1950s and 1960s focused on agriculture, with cooperatives and farmers’ funds.
We must go back to those plans, as our economy will continue to stagnate if we rely on donations and aid.
IMF loans are becoming more difficult to administer and manage.
The Ministry of Planning’s role should not be merely that of a seeker of donations and aid; it should be the place where real and effective planning is done that should lead to real change in local development, self-sustainability and even culture.
This should extend to the de-radicalisation strategy, which can be helped not just by a change in the religious narrative and school curricula, but also by the socio-economic changes that public policies can achieve.
People must be made to feel productive to appreciate their existence and this cannot be achieved if people do not feel that they participate in building their future.
Higher taxation might be a short-term solution to budgetary woes, but it deepens the overall problems, increasing the number of crimes, social violence, users of drugs, terrorism and organised crime.
Moreover, higher taxation further breeds an anti-establishment sentiment, creating antagonism for the political system.
Global politics are changing dramatically, with a greater focus on national interests.
More and more countries, especially in our region, are collapsing into chaos. It is becoming normal for many countries to coexist with chaos.
If we are to avoid that, we must think seriously about reforming the economic and development model, with a greater focus on the citizens’ lives and not just on the regional situation.
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