Jordanian Prime Minister Bisher al Khasawneh reshuffled his cabinet for the fourth time since taking office a year ago, creating a new investment ministry and giving the government additional power to address social and economic issues, according to authorities.
According to them, a royal decree approved the rearrangement, which affects eight positions, and established the new investment ministry to encourage foreign investment and generate jobs in a country with a record unemployment rate of 25%.
Last October, King Abdullah appointed the British-educated Khasawneh, a seasoned former diplomat and royal assistant, to restore public trust in the handling of the coronavirus health crisis and temper resentment over successive governments' failure to deliver on promises of wealth and corruption.
Mohammad Al Ississ, a Harvard-educated economist, was retained as Khasawneh's finance minister. He received acclaim from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for his handling of the economy throughout the pandemic, and he had secured a four-year IMF program worth $1.3 billion, indicating that the IMF had faith in Jordan's reform strategy.
The administration faces a difficult task in reviving growth in an economy that suffered its biggest contraction in decades last year, with the pandemic exacerbating unemployment and poverty.
However, both the government and the IMF forecast a 2% increase this year.