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Jordan's PM reshuffles cabinet in shake-up to spur IMF-guided reforms

Prime minister of Jordan Bisher Al Khasawneh in Beirut, Lebanon on September 30, 2021. [Lebanese Presidency - Anadolu Agency]
Prime minister of Jordan Bisher Al Khasawneh in Beirut, Lebanon on September 30, 2021. [Lebanese Presidency - Anadolu Agency]

Jordan's Prime Minister, Bisher Al Khasawneh, announced a cabinet reshuffle on Thursday to improve his administration's performance under IMF-guided economic reforms, Reuters reports.

The British-educated former veteran diplomat and palace aide was appointed two years ago to restore public trust over the handling of COVID-19 and defuse anger at successive governments' failure to halt corruption and deliver prosperity.

The Finance, Foreign and Interior ministers were kept in place in the reshuffle, which changed nearly a third of cabinet ministers, overall. Of 11 new ministers, three are women.

Khasawneh has sought to accelerate reforms pushed by King Abdullah to help the oil importing country reverse a decade of sluggish growth hovering at around 2 per cent, which was worsened by the pandemic and conflict in neighbouring Iraq and Syria.

The government, last summer, unveiled a plan to attract over $40 billion of investments over the next 10 years. It said it was committed to implementing free market reforms that businessmen say were thwarted under previous conservative administrations.

The traditional conservative establishment had long been blamed for obstructing a modernisation drive pushed by the Western-leaning Monarch, fearing liberal reforms will erode their grip on power.

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