Jordan- EU development bank endorses funding plan for region

MENAFN.COM

Jordan- EU development bank endorses funding plan for region

Jordan Times 

(MENAFN – Jordan Times) The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s (EBRD) shareholders agreed on Saturday to establish EUR1 billion special fund to start investments in emerging Arab democracies, according to a press release posted on the bank’s website.The investments come in response to the wave of political change in parts of the Middle East and North Africa, the bank said.

The EBRD is planning to invest specifically in Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Jordan as it has opened preliminary offices in these countries, appointed a managing director for the region and hired additional staff with regional experience.

According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, Jordan participated for the first time in the EBRD annual meeting in London on Friday.

The statement said that Planning and International Cooperation Minister Jafar Hassan met with EBRD’s top management to identify the bank’s operation priorities in the Kingdom for the coming period to be in line with the government’s strategies and plans to stimulate growth.

Jordan’s economic priorities include stregthening key competitive sectors such as ICT, food industries and small- and medium-sized enterprises, the ministry statement noted.

Jordan is also working to enhance its ability to finance infrastructure and energy projects.

The statement pointed out that the Kingdom will host a conference for EBRD and private sector representatives to be held on the eastern shores of the Dead Sea on May 28.

According to EBRD press release, the fund is being financed out of the EBRD’s reserves and will allow the bank to start operations as a prelude to full-scale investment in the new region after an extension of EBRD’s geographic remit has been ratified.

The expansion into the southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region follows calls for EBRD support from the international community and from countries in the region itself, the statement said.

“The EBRD was asked to apply its 20 years of experience in supporting economic development in central and eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union to another region where people are again demanding a more stable economic future,” the bank said.

The bank, according to the statement, will focus on the development of the private sector in the new region, fostering growth of small- and medium-sized enterprises, helping improve municipal services, developing stable financial sectors and improving energy supplies.

EBRD staff are already preparing for investments in SEMED and the first projects are likely to be concluded around September of this year.

The statement said that the bank expects to be able to invest up to EUR2.5 billion a year in the new region, while not detracting from investments in its existing countries of operations, where funding totalled EUR 9.1 billion in 2011.

Also on Friday, the bank selected top British civil servant Suma Chakrabarti as its president until 2016, replacing Thomas Mirow from Germany.

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Posted on May 20, 2012, in Business, Morocco News and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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