The Director-General said:
“Around the world governments are struggling with a gloomy economic outlook and a range of challenges to delivering a return to strong growth. Jordan is no exception and, moreover, the country is dealing with the effects of instability in the region which has greatly increased the number of refugees in the Kingdom. This situation has put pressure on the economy, affecting levels of trade and investment.
“Confronted with these challenges the government is taking a very positive approach. As His Majesty King Abdullah said last month, Jordan is aiming to turn this situation into a ’development opportunity’, creating jobs for both Jordanians and refugees — and a number of bold steps have already been taken. WTO members have commended Jordan’s resolve in staying the course of trade and economic reforms in the face of real adversity. Of course, this is an ongoing effort, and I think that the WTO can be a partner in this journey to help support growth, jobs and development in the months and years ahead.
“Indeed, in the last few months, the WTO has delivered important reforms to trade rules, which can help boost Jordan’s economic growth. The Trade Facilitation Agreement, for example, could have a big impact in reducing the time and cost of moving goods across the border. The recent expansion of the Information Technology Agreement could help Jordan’s growing technology sector. And there is a lot of work-in-progress which could have a positive impact for Jordan, such as negotiations on an Environmental Goods Agreement, which could help with plans to diversify the energy sector, and boost clean energy in the country. There is an opportunity now to ensure that the WTO tackles other issues of real importance to Jordan, so that it can remain a source of hope and economic leadership in a troubled region.”
During his visit the Director-General met with: the Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply, Mrs Maha Ali; the Minister of Finance, Mr Omar Malhas; the First Deputy Speaker, Dr. Mustafa Al-Amawi; the Director of Customs, Mr Monther Al-Assaf; and representatives from the private sector.