“Stimulating Growth and Investment During Transition”

By EBRD  Press Office
@ebrd

An event under the EBRD-led Transition to Transition (T2T) Initiative

Organised by European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and The Centre for Mediterranean Integration (CMI) with the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation of Jordan, the Jordanian Businessmen Association (JBA), the Young Entrepreneurs Association (YEA), Business and Professional Women-Amman (BPW-A), Jordan Chamber of Commerce and the Jordan Chamber of Industry.

What next for Jordan’s economy?

The EBRD, CMI, Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation of Jordan, JBA, YEA, BPW-A, Jordan Chamber of Commerce and Jordan Chamber of Industry to hold a Transition to Transition (T2T) event in the Dead Sea.

How will the economy of Jordan change in the coming years? What should the economic priorities be in the short and the medium term? Where should investments be made? How will the country achieve growth while overcoming social exclusion? What kind of Jordan will emerge from the current transition? What can Jordan learn from the transition and reform experience of central and eastern Europe and from Turkey's advances? What can these countries learn from Jordan?

 These and many other questions will be raised by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and its partners, during a day of discussions at the King Hussein Convention Centre – Dead Sea. 

The event on 28 May entitled: “Stimulating Growth and Investment During Transition”, part of the EBRD-led Transition to Transition (T2T) Initiative, is one of several discussions that the Bank is holding in the southern and eastern Mediterranean region. The Bank's role will be that of a facilitator, bringing old and new "peers" of reform together. It will also be as a listener in order to better understand the differences between the reform experiences in the two regions.

The Transition to Transition (T2T) Initiative is a framework within which the EBRD can facilitate and exploit a "peer-to-peer" exchange of transition and reform experience between the Bank's current countries of operations and countries of the southern and eastern Mediterranean region.

The event in Jordan, organised in cooperation with The Centre for Mediterranean Integration (CMI), the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation of Jordan, JBA, YEA, BPW-A, the Jordan Chamber of Commerce and the Jordan Chamber of Industry, is an opportunity for the Jordanian private sector and policy-makers to discuss the short- and medium-term priorities of Jordan, by engaging in an exchange of transition and reform experiences with senior policy-makers and top business representatives from central and eastern Europe (CEE) and Turkey. Speakers will include the former Prime Minister of Poland Jan Krzysztof Bielecki, the former Deputy Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic Ivan Miklos,, the former Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia Bozidar Djelic, a number  of CEOs of prominent banks, companies and private equity funds.

The Transition to Transition (T2T) event is a real chance for people to reach for a deeper understanding of what change means, the EBRD’s Chief Economist, Erik Berglof, says: "Transition will take time, yet the social pressures are immense. Creating opportunities for broader segments of society and doing so today is a key challenge. Jordan must find a path towards more inclusive and sustainable growth. The EBRD is ready to support this process by making investments in Jordan aimed at supporting small and medium-sized enterprises, development of alternative sources of energy and improving efficiency, increasing the productivity of the agriculture sector and improving food security, as well as facilitating provision of better municipal services to broader segments of society.”

The Bank will not just be facilitating the debate. It will be listening closely to what emerges as it draws up its plans for operations in the country. The EBRD’s Director of Communications, Jonathan Charles, says: “It’s very important that we listen to what Jordanians want for the future of their economy, we have a good track record of project-based activities, working effectively on the ground.”
 
The international community has recognised that the EBRD has unique skills, in particular in working directly with the private sector, built up over 20 years of supporting transition in eastern Europe, which it would be able to apply as it expands its operations in the southern and eastern Mediterranean region (Jordan, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia).

Responding to a call by the international community, the EBRD is extending the remit of its activities to include the southern and eastern Mediterranean region in a three-stage process that has already seen the first flow of technical assistance funded by grants from donors.

Technical cooperation funds prepare the way for future EBRD funding, while the second stage in the process, expected in 2012, would be the creation of a special fund that would permit the start of EBRD investments in the four countries ahead of their becoming fully fledged countries of operations.

The Bank aims to respond to the financing requirements of this region, including Jordan, by supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – especially to help job creation, particularly important among the youth. Creating a stable financial sector, improving municipal services, rationalising agriculture and implementing sustainable energy problems are also high on the agenda.

The Bank eventually has the capacity to provide financing for the new region of up to 2.5 billion euros per year.

"For more information about the Transition to Transition Initiative or any questions about the event in Jordan on 28 May, please contact Bojana Reiner, Adviser to the EBRD Chief Economist, reinerb@ebrd.com or +44 7921 039 865"