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Macro-economic framework

According to OCSE, Jordan is classifies among the countries with low and middle income.

Its population of approximately 6 millions of inhabitants has an income of about 5,400$ per capita (Purchasing Power Parity - PPP).

The country is poor in raw materials, except for potassium and phosphate, it lacks fuel; it has only limited reserve of gas, and it has to face the problems related to the scarcity of water.
Recently, however, important uranium deposits have been discovered, which are being explored and whose extraction could begin in 2013.
Furthermore, opportunities of exploitation of oil shale are going to be explored, as well as new gas deposits.

The industrial sector isn’t very well developed yet, the cultivable areas are limited and agriculture participates in little more than 3% to GDP.
The 80% of the population is concentrated in urban areas and 70% is less than 29 years old.

With a population growth rate of 2.2% it is expected to reach 7 million by 2015.

Despite this delicate context and the instability of the area, the Jordanian economy has managed to maintain a robust and steady growth since 2001,  thanks to its ability of exploiting favorable conditions as, for example, the political and economic stability, a very reformist economy that is open to foreign investments and trades, a good level of services (telephony, communications, urban livability, etc.) and the presence of a high qualified staff, thanks to the good educational level offered  in universities, and Jordan’s ability to act as a “springboard” for the US (thanks to the Free Trade Agreement) and for Iraq.

Despite the limited size of its domestic market, these conditions allowed Jordan to present itself with increasing conviction as a regional hub for the entire Middle East and North Africa especially in the services sector and to attract massive foreign investments and one of the highest flows of unilateral transfers, in the shape of remittances of emigrates and public assistance to development.

A strong slowdown in growth has been recorded since 2009 (2.3%), due to several factors and worsened by the “Arab Spring” which started at the beginning in 2011.

According to the IMF forecasts, the GDP in 2011-2012 will grow to 2.5% and 2.9% respectively  and then resume slightly in the following years.

The monitoring of the public finances remains a priority for the Kingdom: after the first seven months of 2011, with a fiscal surplus of 693.5 million JD (thanks to more than a billion JD of International Aid), Public Debt reaches 11,462.8, equal to 56.6% GDP.
At the end of August 2011 foreign currency reserves amount to 11.6 billions $ slightly less than the end of 2010 (around 600 millions).

The creation of employment, especially for young people, is another priority for Jordanian Authorities: unemployment at the end of September 2011 rates 13.1% up compared with 12.5% of the end of 2010.

The consumer price index has witnessed a sharp decrease during 2009 (-0.7%) resuming in 2010 (5%), in the first nine months of 2011 saw an average growth of 4.8%.

The data related to "business climate" and the degree of openness of the economy is considered also positive: the 'Index of Economic Freedom "in 2011, prepared by the Wall Street Journal and the Heritage Foundation, ranks Jordan 38th out of 180 countries.