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New bodies are on the table to fund SMEs — Fariz

By Dana Al Emam - Apr 17,2014 - Last updated at Apr 17,2014

AMMAN — Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ) Governor Ziad Fariz revealed this week that new specialised bodies are on the table to fund small-and medium-size enterprises (SMEs), if banks are unable to do so. 

Speaking at the Annual Arab Banking Conference on Wednesday, he called on the private sector to support innovative and creative projects indicating that banks’ financing of SMEs’ investment expenditures do not exceed 10 per cent.

"The increasing regional and international attention towards micro-projects and SMEs makes it imperative that banks develop measures to fund such projects," he stressed, underlining the role that banks have in development and in achieving financial stability within the objectives of economic growth. 

“By adopting CBJ policies, Jordan's banks created a more solid banking system, which enhanced their adaptability to face internal and external shocks,” the governor said.

According to Fariz, the current regional and international economic challenges compel Jordan to adhere to best economic practices in order to avoid possible economic shocks in the future.

He credited the national programme for economic reform as an efficient security that safeguarded the Kingdom's economy despite regional and international turbulences.

The governor indicated that regaining trust in Jordan's economy and the  increase in foreign reserves to their highest levels (JD8.78 billion) were the main fruits of reforms.

Fariz told participants in the conference that high fuel prices and repetitive cuts in the Egyptian gas placed a heavy burden on the local economy during the past few years. 

The increasing influx of Syrian refugees and the accompanying requirements exacerbated the situation, he remarked.

“The economic reform project, which started in cooperation with the International Monetary Fund two years ago and is to continue, addressed the increase in the government's spending and sought to diversify the Kingdom's energy sources, in addition to helping the National Electric Power Company reduce its losses," the governor concluded.

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