Sustainable development, economic growth and social welfare lie at the top of His Majesty King Abdullah II’s priorities. Accordingly, His Majesty has issued directives to provide the necessary climate to ensure development — in all its political, economic and social forms — takes place by equipping Jordanians with the tools that enable them to contribute to the progress of their country.

Since ascending the Throne in 1999, King Abdullah II has been focused on economic development. Through His Majesty’s efforts, many programmes have borne fruit and enhanced Jordanians’ living conditions.

The King has identified several pillars to fulfil this vision, including liberalising and modernising the economy, improving the living standards of all Jordanians, reducing debt, narrowing the budget deficit, joining the global economy, enhancing economic ties with Arab states and other major global markets as well as combating poverty and unemployment.

His Majesty’s vision for sustainable economic development rests on galvanising the points of strength in the community, while honouring values, building on achievements and seizing available opportunities. In this vision, reaching the goal of comprehensive development and building a strong economy requires qualified human resources, armed with education and training, who are capable of overcoming any challenge with determination and hard work to achieve their aspirations.

Based on this clearly outlined vision, His Majesty has launched a series of plans and programmes to build a modern civil state, where a sense of justice, equality, equal opportunity and respect for human rights prevails. The Jordanian society is engaged and committed to contributing to the country’s progress and aspires to become an advanced, leading model in the region.

King Abdullah II has also recognised that achieving national objectives cannot be done without building a true partnership between the public and private sectors. Within this partnership, the private sector is the main engine of economic activity and contributes to devising economic reform policies and strategies, in their fiscal, economic, legislative, judicial and educational dimensions.

The King’s ongoing support for efforts to upgrade trade and investment as well as optimise the utilisation of knowledge and technology emanates from the fact that global trade and investment have had a positive impact on the economic growth of Jordan. These efforts also stem from the idea that the success of countries in today’s global economy depends on their ability to diversify their economic relations and adopt a new method to break into an ever-growing interconnected global market.

Jordan has pursued the strategic option of joining the global economy by partnering with influential countries and international groups and adopting the principles of economic liberalisation by incorporating them into the Kingdom’s strategy for effective competitiveness in the world economy. Along these same lines, qualitative structural and economic reforms have been adopted to effectively merge Jordan’s economy with that of the world.

Major economic agreements have also been signed at the Arab and international levels, including the deal to join the International Trade Organisation, the Free Trade Agreement with the United States, the partnership agreement with European Union countries, the Agreement for the Establishment of a Free Trade Zone between Arab Mediterranean Nations (Agadir Agreement), the deal with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), the Free Trade Agreement with Singapore as well as the Jordan-Canada Free Trade Agreement. In addition, Jordan was among the first countries to join the Great Arab Free Trade Area agreement.

Jordan has developed a successful partnership with the World Economic Forum (WEF) — thanks to economic, political and social reforms led by His Majesty — turning the Kingdom into a forward-looking model in the region.

The King’s keenness to ensure Jordan participates in the WEF has enabled the country to assume an advanced status within the Forum’s circles, paving the way for a strong partnership that has turned Jordan into a second home for this international platform. King Abdullah II sees this gathering as the right venue to address political, economic and intellectual leaders, along with the millions of people they serve around the world.

At the same time, His Majesty has given attention to social development by working to ensure that economic and social conditions are improved and that citizens’ income is increased, stressing that citizens must feel the positive impact of the development projects underway. Therefore, the King has always directed consecutive governments to seek executive mechanisms that contribute to improving citizens’ living conditions and aid them in overcoming tough economic challenges and circumstances.

His Majesty has also issued directives to prepare programmes to enhance the living conditions of citizens with limited incomes by providing a social security safety net, building housing units for targeted social segments, implementing empowerment programmes through training and qualifying people in poverty pockets as well as supporting underprivileged families through the Jordan Hashemite Charity Organisation distribution of food and aid parcels.

Out of the conviction that the positive results leading to improvement in the Jordanian economy must bring benefits and greater welfare for all citizens, His Majesty has sought to utilise every available resource to achieve self-sufficiency and productivity for underprivileged segments in Jordan. This has been pursued by improving education and healthcare services, providing urgent aid for emergency cases, covering main needs such as housing, before proceeding to secure job opportunities through productive projects.

Initiatives launched by the King — such as the Aqaba Special Economic Zone and development zones in Mafraq, Irbid, Maan, the Dead Sea, Ajloun and the Business Park Development Area in Amman — are all part of a series of initiatives aimed at achieving a true economic renaissance with the goal and main pillar of improving Jordanians’ living conditions and entrenching the equal distribution of development gains.

Housing Initiatives
With the goal of securing a better life for everyone in the Kingdom, His Majesty has launched a number of initiatives to provide proper housing for the Jordanian community. At the forefront of these initiatives are several notable examples: the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army housing project, in addition to housing offered to security agencies’ personnel and teachers as well as the King Abdullah II Housing Project for Decent Living and the Housing City of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

Out of a belief that “political growth goes hand-in-hand with economic growth,” the King’s vision of a modern Jordan is based on established constants. First and foremost, Jordan is Arab through and through, and carries a message of historical and religious legitimacy. It offers its children opportunities for a decent life within a climate of freedom and democracy, which enables all citizens to participate in making the decisions that affect their lives and their children’s futures.

His Majesty’s vision for the media is based on several main pillars: that the media be honest and responsible, democratic and professional, embodying change with the utmost effectiveness and boldness and shed light on Jordan’s regional and international role.

The King’s championing of culture is evident when he ordered the establishment of an independent fund to support cultural and publishing movements that nurture creativity; in addition to enhancing the level of cultural service, conserving and maintaining antiquities and historical sites, opening museums in addition to safeguarding and restoring ancient manuscripts.

Based on His Majesty’s keenness to achieve the principle that “justice is the basis of governance,” the Royal Committee for Developing the Judiciary and Enhancing the Rule of Law was formed, in line with the King’s conviction that “there can be no political, administrative, educational and economic development without radical reforms” that encompass all aspects of litigation.

To achieve comprehensive development, His Majesty has also paid special attention to the establishment of a number of support funds, at the forefront of which is the King Abdullah II Fund for Development, which is aimed at enhancing economic and social productivity by establishing productive development projects around the Kingdom; in addition to the Military Housing Fund.

Since achieving development requires concerted efforts by national institutions in the public and private sectors, the King’s vision seeks to motivate these establishments by launching a number of awards, namely the King Abdullah II Award for Excellence in Government Performance and Transparency, the King Abdullah II Award for Excellence for Business Associations, the King Abdullah II Award for Excellence for the Private Sector and the King Abdullah II Award for Physical Fitness.

As for youth, His Majesty’s vision is based on the importance of communicating with them and ensuring their engagement, in addition to building their capacities, supporting them and boosting their self-confidence. Out of a belief that empowering young people is a cornerstone in building a modern Jordan, the King has launched a number of initiatives aimed at enhancing youths’ role in economic, social and political development, starting by investing in their education, training and rehabilitation and pushing them to pursue analytical thinking, creativity and excellence. Empowering youth also entails providing suitable environments to ensure their participation in the workforce and building the country as well as fostering their patriotism to enable them to play a serious and active role in public life.

His Majesty has also paid special attention to making job opportunities available for Jordanians and focusing on training and rehabilitation projects to combat unemployment within larger efforts to propel economic and social development forward. The National Vocational Training Council has been the culmination of His Majesty’s belief in the importance of this sector. The Council has embarked on implementing an ambitious plan aimed at training thousands of young Jordanians and qualifying them to enter the labour market.

The epitome of these efforts has been the Jordanian National Employment and Training Company project, with the King launching its first phase.

His Majesty King Abdullah II envisions Jordan as a potential gateway to the region in the fields of information, communications technology and e-commerce. This vision entails transforming Jordan into a knowledge-based society that offers the potential and capabilities required to face the challenges of the global knowledge economy.

To achieve this vision, His Majesty has launched the “Education Reform for Knowledge Economy” project to upgrade the educational system in the Kingdom to keep pace with the latest local, regional and international needs and requirements.

All public schools have been computerised and connected electronically and Jordan has now become an advanced model in this field — an example to be followed for many countries in the Middle East.

His Majesty’s continuous support for education was also realised when he laid down the cornerstone for King’s Academy, which has gone on to become one of Jordan’s most successful education projects. The school is based on the Deerfield Academy model, where the King attended secondary school, and which entails designing practical curricula that strive to graduate positive global citizens and leaders in various fields.

2025 Vision
Under Royal directives, the 2025 Vision has been drafted to outline the path to the future and set a comprehensive framework that will govern economic and social policies based on equal opportunities.

Vision entails reinforcing the rule of law, ensuring equal opportunities, increasing engagement in policy planning, achieving financial sustainability and boosting related institutions. To achieve that, the infrastructure must be upgraded, and education and healthcare must be enhanced. Moreover, the private sector and civil society institutions must contribute to the development process.

Based on these principles, the 2025 Vision proposes a roadmap to the future, which requires a wide consensus among the various community stakeholders on the way forward and the roles assigned to the involved parties and investors, especially the private sector, which should play a key role in achieving the sought after goals. The government, on the other hand, must provide an enabling environment to reach that aspiration. The 2025 Vision is also based on the fact that success in achieving the policies it proposes requires commitment from citizens, the government, the private sector and civil society, in implementation of the concept of active citizenship as put forth by His Majesty in a series of discussion papers.

Economic Policy Council
In a letter to Prime Minister Dr Hani Mulki in June 2016, His Majesty King Abdullah II directed the premier to form an Economic Policy Council, whose mission is to discuss economic policies and programmes and development plans in various sectors, in addition to identifying the major obstacles impeding economic development and suggesting solutions to overcome them. As such, the Council shall support government efforts to overcome economic challenges, invest in opportunities, achieve higher growth levels and enhance the national economy’s competitiveness through effective public-private partnerships.

National Strategy for Human Resources Development
His Majesty King Abdullah II is constantly following up on and providing support for the efforts to implement the National Strategy for Human Resources Development, launched in September 2016, under Royal patronage. His Majesty encourages these efforts in order to ensure that tangible results are achieved, reflecting positively on the development trajectory that all Jordanians aspire towards, in the service of the nation and the people of Jordan.

In a letter to the prime minister in March 2015, His Majesty stressed the need to advance the comprehensive system for education, encompassing all its stages and sectors, in order to keep pace with the latest international standards and ensure that the Kingdom’s human resources development efforts all work within a unified framework. To achieve that, the King issued directives to form a national committee to draft a comprehensive, clearly defined strategy to develop human resources for the years 2016-2025.

The strategy provides a framework for the operation of sectors related to education, in line with the outcomes of the Jordan Vision 2025 and the National Employment Strategy. It also builds on previous studies and efforts to promote human resources development that builds the capacities of present and future generations, equipping them with the best intellectual and technical tools to encourage them towards excellence and creativity. The strategy aims to prepare highly-qualified and capable young people to compete at the national, regional and international levels, ultimately opening a vast horizon of opportunities.

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King Abdullah II has given full attention to the level of healthcare offered to citizens, issuing directives to expand health insurance coverage to encompass even wider segments of society.

Hakeem Program
Launched in October 2009, under the patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah II, Hakeem is the first national initiative in Jordan aimed at automating the public healthcare sector.

The programme objectives is to facilitate efficient, high-quality healthcare in Jordan through a nationwide implementation of an electronic health record system. Physicians, pharmacists, medical technicians and other clinicians are able to electronically access medical records of patients within participating health facilities in Jordan simply by entering the patient’s national identification number.

Through Hakeem, healthcare professionals have easy and extensive access to their patients’ medical records, including comprehensive medical and surgical history, physical examinations, procedural and surgical reports, current medications, allergies as well as in-patient and out-patient clinic visit notes. In addition, Hakeem provides online access to lab results, digital radiological exams, electrocardiograms (ECG), endoscopic biopsies, eye exams and videos of echocardiograms and angiograms.

Electronic Health Solutions (EHS), an Amman-based, non-profit company, has adopted VistA system in its strategy to implement the Hakeem programme in automating the public healthcare sector in Jordan. VistA is an enterprise-wide information system used throughout the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical system.

Hakeem’s programme goals:

  • Enhance the quality of healthcare in Jordan
  • Reduce healthcare cost
  • Improve the patient experience
  • Track efficiency of operations
  • Support research and decision making

Over the past seven years, EHS succeeded in fulfilling its aim of transforming healthcare services in Jordan by leveraging technological solutions.

Hakeem is now implemented in 98 healthcare institutes across the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, including organisations under the Ministry of Health, Royal Medical Service, in addition to the King Hussein Cancer Center.

Hospitals: 20
Comprehensive Clinics: 21
Primary Clinics: 57

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