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‘Jordan’s EBRD portfolio of $480m mostly implemented by private sector’

By JT - Nov 07,2015 - Last updated at Nov 07,2015

Planning and International Cooperation Minister Imad Fakhoury attends an EBRD conference in Skhirat, Morocco, late last week (Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation)

AMMAN — The government is serious about granting the private sector a leading role in running the development process, according to Planning and International Cooperation Minister Imad Fakhoury.

At a meeting with European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) President Suma Chakrabarti on the sidelines of an EBRD conference in Skhirat, Morocco, late last week, Fakhoury said 99 per cent of Jordan’s $480 million portfolio with the bank was implemented directly by the private sector.

Jordan, he added, is among the leading countries in benefiting from loans and grants provided by the EBRD, according to a ministry statement released Saturday.

The minister reiterated the importance of giving special attention to the private sector in the services provided by the EBRD, by increasing the level of its participation in implementing projects, developing public-private partnership mechanisms in EBRD-supported projects, and expanding interest in small- and medium-sized enterprises that aim at creating job opportunities for women and young people. 

This is in addition to the joint work between all concerned parties to reduce the volume of the informal sector and transform it gradually into a formal one so that the process of economic and social development is guaranteed, the statement quoted Fakhoury as saying.

The minister, who headed Jordan’s delegation to the ERBD conference, convened under the title “Unleashing the potential”, thanked the bank for the services it provides to the region and the support it gives to the Palestinian economy.

He also urged the EBRD administration to expand the services it provides to Jordan in particular and the region in general, noting there are more opportunities and services that the bank can offer, especially in the field of helping Arab economies “integrate with each other and with European Union countries”. 

At the EBRD conference, Fakhoury reviewed the economic and political reforms adopted by Jordan.

The Cabinet, he said, lately endorsed the 2016-2018 executive development programme, as well as the governorates’ development programme for 2016-2018, stressing the government’s seriousness in expanding public-private partnership.

Referring to the Syrian crisis and its spillover on the Jordanian economy, the minister said the Kingdom is hosting 1.4 million Syrians on its territory, who constitute 20 per cent of the country’s population. 

“Jordan is still waiting for more support [from] the international community, which should bear its responsibilities in this respect,” he said, highlighting the Jordan Response Plan (JRP) 2016-2018, which includes a number of projects to provide services for refugees as well as host communities. 

The Kingdom, Fakhoury noted, is awaiting support from the international community to fund JRP projects.

In a session with the private sector on “Infrastructure and public private partnership”, the minister stressed the government’s keenness on partnership with the private sector to implement and develop infrastructure projects. 

The 2016-2018 executive development programme, he said, includes a package of infrastructure projects that are a genuine opportunity for the private sector to implement through the different funding models that are adopted at the international level. 

These projects cover different sectors like transport, water and energy.

Fakhoury said Jordan seeks to adopt a new approach in running public investments in cooperation with the World Bank, and to expand this approach to be beneficial for government projects. 

He urged participating private sector representatives to direct and expand their investments in Jordan in all economic sectors, according to the statement.

On the sidelines of the conference, Fakhoury held a meeting with officials from the International Fund for Agricultural Development and discussed the projects that the fund currently implements in the Kingdom. 

 

They also discussed elements of a strategy for future cooperation to help achieve food security in Jordan.

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