When did Jordan begin privatizing and deregulating its economy and upgrading its education system? In 1989 – after oil prices had slumped and the Arab oil states cut off Jordan’s subsidies. In 1999, before Jordan signed its U.S. free-trade accord, its exports to America totaled $13 million.
This year, Jordan will export over $1 billion worth of goods to the U.S. In the wake of King Abdullah II’s reforms, Jordan’s economy is growing at an annual rate of over 7 percent, the government is installing computers and broadband Internet links in every school, and it will soon require anyone who wants to study Islamic law and become a mosque preacher to first get a B.A. in something else, so mosque leaders won’t just come from those who can’t do anything else. "We had to go through a crisis to accept the need for reform," says Jordan’s planning minister, Bassem Awadallah.
Source [The New York Times]