First permanent office for EBRD in Jordan

By Nibal Zgheib

The EBRD has opened a permanent office in Jordan, which represents a further step in the Bank’s long-term commitment to supporting economic development in the country. The new office will play a key role in accelerating the EBRD’s activities and contributing to new investments in the country.

The EBRD’s Vice President, Risk and Resources, Betsy Nelson, said: “The opening of this office in Jordan is a very important step for the EBRD and for Jordan. We are committed to the development of the Jordanian economy and we look forward to accelerating our investments and to supporting the country’s plans for reform.”

The Bank’s activities in Jordan will focus on overall economic growth, developing the private sector, promoting energy efficiency, supporting renewable energy, and improving infrastructure and municipal services, including water and wastewater treatment.

In line with the Jordanian government’s own priorities, the EBRD will help in strengthening the county’s financial sector, providing finance for small and medium-sized enterprises, boosting the creation of high-quality private sector jobs and developing a resilient economy.

The EBRD has already invested in two major projects in Jordan: a $US 100 million loan for the Al Manakher Power Plant (IPP4), and a $US 80 million credit for the Abdali shopping mall and entertainment centre in Amman.

In addition, trade finance programmes have been established with InvestBank and Cairo Amman Bank to support international and intra-regional trade.

The Bank has also been supporting small enterprises via its Small Business Support programme.

Heike Harmgart will lead the EBRD’s Resident Office in Jordan. Harmgart has had a long association with the southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region.

She joined the EBRD in 2006, and, among other roles, she was Senior Economist responsible for Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey and Jordan.