Follow the latest in economic news and developments about the Arab transition countries. 

Jordan must persist with economic reforms to ensure its economy keeps growing and its budget deficit is under control, the central bank governor said, warning against slackening as financial pressures ease and political pressures mount. Governor Ziyad Fariz said the kingdom needed to move ahead with the main monetary and fiscal targets designed under a 3-year standby deal with the IMF to rejuvenate the aid-dependent economy as it struggles with an influx of Syrian refugees and disruption of energy supplies. [Reuters, JNA]
Minister of Finance Dr. Ahmed Galal issued Sunday a decree (No.23) defining the rules of applying Mohamed Morsi’s April decree to regulate custom tariffs on 100 goods. Among other products, new tariffs will be applied on capital goods, hotels’ imports, Arab Organization for Industrialization (AOI) imports, and Arab Petroleum Pipelines Company SUMID imports. Through the ministerial decision, imports tax will be reduced by 110 percent on products that are 30-40 percent locally manufactured, by 115 percent for 60 percent locally manufactured products, and 120 percent for more than 60 percent locally manufactured products. Morsi’s decree primarily targeted increasing tariffs luxury items like sunglasses, watches, yachts and shrimps. [Cairo Post]
The adoption of a new constitution is an important step in reducing political uncertainty in Tunisia, Fitch Ratings says. But easing political and social tensions will be a long and challenging process. However, Tunisia’s political transition will face another challenge when postponed elections are held. These will take the interim government several months to organize and are unlikely to take place before the second half of the year. In the meantime, the interim government will face significant policy challenges, including implementing the 2014 budget. [Reuters]
A customs officers’ open strike, which started on January 23rd in major ports in Tunis and ended on January 26th, is estimated to have cost 100 million dinars, according to a statement by Mrs. Wided Bouchamaoui –president of the Tunisian Union of Industry, Commerce and Craft (UTICA). On Sunday, officers of the National Customs met with government representatives and signed an agreement that meets their demands. [TAP]
Also of Interest:
EU to grant Egypt €500 billion in aid | Egypt Independent
Egypt’s economy to miss growth forecasts: Poll | Reuters
Egypt’s “new normal” aids financial market rebound | Reuters
16,000 new job opportunities offered to Egyptian youth | DNE
Jordan’s Senate endorses 2014 state budget | Jordan Times
ESCWA: Jordan need higher GDP growth in 2014 | UN
US to provide $600 million of military training | Libya Business News
Moroccan economy: War of figures between govt and High Commission for Planning | MWN
At Davos, Tunisia urges lenders to fulfill pledges | Asharq Al-Awsat
EBRD grants €40 million loan to Tunisia | TAP
In pictures: Tunisia’s struggling economy | Al Jazeera