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Interview with Jordan's deputy PM for economy

Reporter: Stephanie Freid 丨 CCTV.com

10-09-2016 09:33 BJT

Jordan hosts more refugees than any country in the world, according to reports. The economically-taxed Hashemite kingdom is struggling to create jobs, grow the economy, and draw investment, while at the same time supporting refugees. On top of that, it is fending off threats of home-grown extremism, fueled by poverty. CCTV's Stephanie Freid sat down with Jordan's deputy prime minister for economic affairs, who talked about the effects of regional turmoil on Jordan, and plans for attracting new investment.

"The structure of investment has changed and the political turbulence in the region has impacted, also, the feasibility of certain projects. For instance,products that are to be exported to neighboring Arab countries like Syria or Iraq which were one of the most lucrative markets - those have been closed and the borders have been closed. So in a way we are living in a force majeure situation which require different, innovative ideas and that’s what we are trying to do. That’s why we are looking at markets in Central Asia, in Eastern Africa."

"While we think that there is very strong correlation between unemployment and poverty and the readiness to become radicalized - that is obvious - but the causality, line of causality, doesn’t always work out like that. So in a way, while we’re looking at the economic challenge, and addressing it with the best that we can within what is available, but we have to realize also that there is an ideological dimension that we have to address."

"We don’t know what kind of political solutions are going to emanate out of the problems that are in both Syria and Iraq and probably Yemen and othr places. So therefore we do’nt know if the consequences of war may be not as big or as challenging as the consequences of political solutions that may pose also, impose, certain challenges to Jordan that Jordan must rise up to and become a hub for reconstruction and at the same time allow Jordan the opportunity to benefit from the situation rather than become victimized by it," said Jawad A. Anani, Jordan Deputy PM for Economic Affairs.

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