Government, the EBRD sign two memorandums of understanding

Dead Sea, Prime Minister Hani Mulki on Thursday attended the signing ceremony of two memorandums of understanding (MoUs) between the government and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), at the beginning of the bank’s special working session on investment opportunities in Jordan, within the framework of the EBRD’s annual meetings currently being held at the King Hussein Convention Center in the Dead Sea region.

The Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Emad Fakhoury and the President of the EBRD, Soma Chakrabarty, signed the MoUs.

The first MoU aims at putting a framework for cooperation and development of sustainable infrastructure investments in Jordan in a host of crucial priority sectors to finance implementation of private sector’s projects and investments, or fund public-private partnerships in key fields in a bid to stimulate economic growth in sustainable and renewable energy and electricity, city urban transport, airports, ports, water desalination, expansion of water treatment plants, street lighting, municipalities’ green buildings, and infrastructure for schools and hospitals.

The MoU involves the bank’s participation in investment projects by providing long-term financing and / or technical assistance funds for eligible projects with a total investment of Euros 2.8 billion, including Euros 1 billion as an EBRD investment.

The 2nd MoU aims to support the Investment Climate and Governance Initiative in Jordan in an effort to carry out this ambitious bid to stimulate economic governance, support the competitive development of the private sector and improve the business environment.

Under the MoU, the government will seek to identify areas that help develop the investment environment, boost economic governance and contribute to promotion of private sector development.

It also includes measures to cooperate with the bank to promote public-private dialogue, improve investment promotion and facilitation, promote corporate governance in the banking sectors, develop measures to facilitate SME participation in public e-tenders, forge alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, strengthen judicial capacity in commercial law matters, boost the regulatory framework in the ICT sector, as citizens and companies can swiftly use e-government services.

Under the MoU, the bank will seek, in accordance with its Jordan strategy, to support the investment climate, governance, and policies to cooperate with the government in implementing investment climate reform priorities, to back the government’s efforts to increase investment and improve private sector development.

Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Emad Fakhoury said: “We consider our cooperation with the bank to be a true success story given the remarkable growth in the bank’s investment portfolio in Jordan, which over the last five years (2012-2017) has amounted to more than 1 billion euros in the sectors of renewable energy, pharmaceuticals, water, sewage and solid waste, the development of small and medium enterprises, as well as supporting the private sector, which accounts for over 85% of the bank’s support and financing in Jordan.

He pointed to the bank’s financing to Jordan through soft loans combined with grants that lead to lower borrowing costs through interest reduction, increased grace periods and extension of repayment periods, which are a substitute for domestic and external commercial borrowing to contribute to plug in the financing gap in the general budget law.

This support, he added, contributes to the restructuring of debts in accordance with the national program of economic and financial reform in light of arrangements with the International Monetary Fund and as decided by the Committee of Public Debt and the Council of Ministers.

Fakhoury said the bank will allocate 100 million euros during the period 2016-2018 of its net income for investments in countries affected by the repercussions of the Syrian crisis, including Jordan.

We are proud to be the first country in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean region to host the Bank’s annual meeting and events in response to Jordan’s various reform and development efforts, as well as Jordan’s outstanding reform performance in the various political and economic fields, he added.

The minister expressed his thanks to the bank for its continued support to Jordan, and said the country is looking forward to further future cooperation in new fields on the ground and for the benefit of Jordan’s citizens, the private sector and investors.

He said the two sides signed two MoUs to develop a sustainable investment map based on a plan to stimulate economic growth and the public-private sectors’ partnerships through which Jordan has managed to implement projects worth $ 10 billion.

Source: Jordan News Agency