Counting the Cost

Jordan's refugee burden

Can the world's eighth-largest deposits of shale gas save Jordan's economy from external shocks from debt to refugees?

Last updated: 15 Jul 2014 02:34
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Jordan is not a headlining country economically, but a number of fiscal issues continue to shape its direction. Rising debt, warring neighbours, energy shortages, and the added burden of hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees, has seen it receive billions of dollars of donations and debt guarantees.

In this episode we ask: Can Jordan's economy cope without money from the international community? Can the world’s eighth-largest deposits of shale gas save Jordan’s economy?

And finally, can Amman steer its fragile recovery from the rise of the Islamic State, previously known as ISIL, in Iraq?

To answer this, we speak to the Jordanian finance minister, Umayya Toukan.

Price hikes in Egypt

Egypt has finally faced up to its economic problems by eliminating subsidies and as a result, fuel prices rose as much as 78 percent. But while President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi says the steps were long overdue, such claims do not seem to wash with the Egyptian people.

There are some details of the government’s budget we do not know about - namely its vast military complex. The estimate is that Egypt spends $4.4bn a year on the military, excluding the $1.2bn it gets from the US in military aid.

But the military also has its own business empire which accounts for between 5 and 40 percent of the economy - all businesses which pay no taxes.

We expand on this open state secret with Angus Blair, the president of the economic think-tank, the Signet Institute.

Contesting Indonesia

Rival candidates say they won the election, but whoever emerges as president will have plenty on their plate with this rising Asian giant.

Over the last decade, the Indonesian economy - the world's 16th largest by nominal GDP - has made some remarkable progress; mostly due to the guidance of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyonom, but with a new president on the way, that will be a tough act to follow.

There are huge challenges ahead for the world's most populous Muslim-majority nation, and we discuss them with Rajiv Biswas, the chief Asia-Pacific economist with IHS, joining us from Zurich via Skype.

Watch each week at the following times GMT: Friday: 2230; Saturday: 0930; Sunday: 0330; Monday: 1630.  Click here  for more  Counting the Cost .   

Follow Kamahl Santamaria  @KamahlAJE  and business editor Abid Ali  @abidoliverali .


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