In Jordan, the recession is expected to reach over 5.5 % of GDP in 2020. Dr Maher Al Mahrouq, President of the Jordanian Chamber of Industry, highlights the positive lessons from the coronavirus crisis, referring in particular to the virtues of social dialogue and Mediterranean cooperation.
According to numbers released in early October, the growth rate of the Jordanian economy should stand at – 3.6 % in the second quarter of 2020. For the whole year, the forecasts of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) even fell to – 5.5 %.
For example, the tourism sector, which typically contributes 12 % to 15 % of gross domestic product (GDP), is expected to record a near zero results. At the same time, the unemployment rate has grown from 19 % to 23 % since the start of the crisis.
The BUSINESSMED experience
Dr Maher Al Mahrouq, President of the Jordanian Chamber of Industry, attended on October 6th to the Social Dialogue Forum, the fourth ministerial conference of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM).
For this active member of the BUSINESSMED network, the context emphasizes more than ever the need to cooperate at Mediterranean scale.
“Thanks to BUSINESSMED, we no longer only exchange our experience and knowledge with our neighbors of the south of the Mediterranean sea, with whom we share many common traits. […] We also share with developed countries, which can help us increase our expertise and the benefit of our role in social dialogue,” he said.
According to Dr Al Mahrouq, the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic has also raised the dialogue between employers and employees back at the heart of the working relationship.
“I think the worst is behind us, he comments. I am delighted, because I think we have struggled enough with this obscure Covid-19 and with its unintended consequences. Brighter times await us, because many changes have taken place because of Covid-19, whether in individual behavior, in economic behavior, in business structures and methods.”
“A lot of events have happened which can improve our level of productivity, our business environment, and develop the concept of social dialogue. It can be a good opportunity to learn better and in a shorter time. Unfortunately, another crisis we would have to face might not give us such a chance. We need to be much more and better prepared,” he concludes.