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EBRD adopts first country strategy for Jordan

By JT - Oct 01,2014 - Last updated at Oct 01,2014

AMMAN — The Board of Directors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has approved the first country strategy for Jordan, which focuses on three key priorities identified in cooperation with the Jordanian government: energy, the private sector and infrastructure.

According to an EBRD statement, the bank will develop the energy sector by enhancing energy sustainability, in particular by using the country’s potential for solar and wind power. It will also promote energy efficiency schemes and contribute to policy reforms, it said.

EBRD officially launched its operations in Jordan in February last year by opening a permanent office in Amman, with plans to invest in key sectors such as energy, railways, finance and development projects in the governorates.

In late 2012, EBRD offered a $100 million loan for the construction and development of the Manakher Power Plant, to be bank’s first energy investment in the region.

Boosting the role of the private sector in Jordan is one of the main ways in which the EBRD aims to tackle the lack of access to finance for small- and medium-sized enterprises and the skills mismatch in the labour market, the bank said in the statement.

“This approach also helps the bank to promote inclusive growth and greater participation by women and youth in the workforce,” it added, noting that EBRD will support private sector participation in public infrastructure projects to boost competitiveness and increase the efficiency and accessibility of public services.

Dr Heike Harmgart, head of the EBRD Resident Office in Jordan, was quoted as saying in the statement: “This strategy is a key milestone in our commitment to support market development in Jordan as it will anchor our work for four years around the country’s priorities. We will take a holistic approach in implementing our investments and continuing our policy dialogue to boost economic growth and achieve the reforms needed.”

Jordan became a member of the bank in 2012 and to date EBRD has committed 206 million euros across 12 projects in the country in various sectors.


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