There was a significant increase in Jordan's public debt towards the end of 2013 and initiatives have been taken to strengthen banking supervision and develop capital markets.
The Central Bank of Jordan has prioritised the strengthening of the supervisory framework, along with proposed improvements to bank governance. The Central Bank of Jordan in this regard has been rebuilding reserves, which are now at a comfortable level, helped by sizeable grants from GCC countries, and two successful U.S. dollar-denominated domestic bond issuances. In terms of access to finance, the authorities are improving the legal framework in favor of Small Medium Enterprise financing and actively seeking international support to secure resources for such enterprises. Work is also ongoing on a new investment law, which could significantly enhance the transparency of the rules governing investments.
The government has additionally announced a number of new tax rate changes. These changes affect mobile telecommunications, corporate income taxes, payroll taxes and withholding taxes. The government doubled its special sales tax rates on mobile telecommunications in July 2013 and more tax increases loom ahead in 2014. In 2013, the government introduced a new draft Income Tax Law to Parliament, which is still under discussion. This law is expected to take effect beginning of this year and, amongst the proposed changes, corporate tax is expected to rise.