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Jordanian PM Holds Talks with US Treasury Secretary, IMF Chief in Washington

Jordanian PM Holds Talks with US Treasury Secretary, IMF Chief in Washington

Friday, 11 January, 2019 - 19:00
Jordanian Prime Minister Omar al-Razzaz. (AFP)
Asharq Al-Awsat
US Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin received in Washington on Friday Jordanian Prime Minister Omar al-Razzaz, reported the Saudi Press Agency.

The two officials discussed bilateral ties and ways to promote them in various fields.

On Thursday, Razzaz held talks with International Monetary Fund Director Christine Lagarde on his country’s fiscal reforms.

"Now that our fiscal health is in order, we want to promote growth," he told reporters after his meeting.

He said he also met in Washington with the US Chamber of Commerce to draw greater business interest and was organizing a Jordan investment conference to take place in London in late February.

Lagarde said that Jordan's income tax hike, approved by lawmakers in November, was a "step in the right direction" but that Jordan "still faces challenging economic and social conditions."

"Sustaining fiscal consolidation remains critical to preserve macroeconomic stability, which needs to be supported by a faster implementation of reforms to promote jobs and investment and lower business costs," she said in a statement.

Jordan plays host to 1.3 million refugees from neighboring Syria.

Alongside the IMF package, Jordan received pledges of $2.5 billion in aid from Arab Gulf states in June.

Jordan has witnessed persistent protests against austerity measures led by young people, among whom unemployment runs at 39 percent.

The government went ahead with the income tax bill but, in a concession, raised the threshold at which Jordanian households have to pay.

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