World Bank loan still under negotiation, Minister

Washington, Finance Minister Ezzedine Kanakrieh said Saturday that Jordan is still negotiating the terms of a $1.2 billion World Bank loan, which is part of the government’s funding plan within the 2019 state budget to bankroll projects and pay previous loan installments.

Kanakrieh, who is part of an economic delegation accompanying Prime Minister Omar Razzaz on his current visit to Washington to discuss grants and other aid by international entities to the Kingdom, said that the World Bank loan will not make a difference in the targeted level of public debt, or change the government’s plan to gradually cut the debt ratio (to GDP), but will help reduce the funding cost.

The minister said that the talks dealt with issues related to the government’s program to enhance growth and the foreign aid program, including grants to the treasury, loan guarantees and soft loans.

The government’s plan, he pointed out, aims to continue reducing the budget deficit, indicating that preliminary data in 2018 showed that the debt ratio to GDP had dropped from 94.3 per cent in late 2017 to about 94 per cent by the end of 2018.

He said that the terms of the World Bank loan had not yet been finalized, but noted that World Bank loans are usually soft loans with lower interest rates and longer repayment terms than commercial loans.

Source: Jordan News Agency