EBRD to strengthen international trade in Jordan

By Nibal Zgheib

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is boosting export and import activities in Jordan by providing a US$ 10 million trade facility to Jordan Ahli Bank (JAB)* under the EBRD’s Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP).

The TFP facility will enable JAB to provide a wider range of trade finance products to its customers and to develop new products. The EBRD’s support will also allow JAB to reach out to a broader range of companies engaged in cross-border trade.

Hildegard Gacek, EBRD Managing Director for the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean, said: “We are very pleased to enter in a partnership with Jordan Ahli Bank as it constitutes an important step for EBRD’s engagement in Jordan. The partnership will enhance international trade and further support Jordanian companies, which will contribute to the country’s economic growth.”

Saad N. Mouasher, Senior Deputy CEO, Head of Group Support Jordan Ahli Bank said: “It is a true privilege to finalise this strategic partnership agreement with the EBRD. Together with the Bank, we are facilitating and improving the depth and reach of trade finance activities for our customers. This will undoubtedly increase the flow of trade, which will not only stimulate business growth for our customers, but also support Jordan's macroeconomic expansion.”

Technical cooperation projects will accompany this trade finance facility to transfer know-how and pass on best practices in trade finance.

Launched in 1999, the TFP aims to promote foreign trade to, from and among countries where the EBRD invests. Through the programme, the EBRD provides guarantees to international confirming banks and short-term loans to selected banks and factoring companies for on-lending to local exporters, importers and distributors.

The TFP currently includes over 100 partner banks in 23 countries where the Bank invests, with limits exceeding €1.5 billion in total, and more than 800 confirming banks worldwide.

To date the EBRD has committed €203 million across seven projects in Jordan in various sectors. Through the EBRD’s Small Business Support programmes the Bank has also initiated 30 technical assistance capacity-building support programmes directly benefiting Jordanian small and medium-sized enterprises.

*JAB is the third largest commercial bank in Jordan with an asset size of US$ 3.81billion at the end of 2013. The bank is listed on the Amman Stock Exchange with a market capitalisation of approximately US$ 311.92 million as of April 2014.