EBRD President highlights support for small businesses at MENA World Economic Forum

By Nibal Zgheib

EBRD President highlights support for small businesses at MENA World Economic Forum

EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti stressed the importance of private sector development in the southern and eastern Mediterranean region and the promotion of small and medium sized enterprises during a high level conference in Jordan today.
 
Sir Suma was one of the co-chairs of the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa, taking place at the Dead Sea. The forum was opened by King Abdullah of Jordan.
 
During a press conference Sir Suma described small and medium sized enterprises as a sector in the region that was largely untapped. It was very important to support them and to ensure their access to finance.
 
During a panel discussion entitled “Jordan Relaunched: Advancing Growth and Development” Sir Suma said: “One of the most important investment ‎priorities for Jordan is  providing support and finance to SMEs and to renewable energy. Also the country has a great potential in technology industry."
 
He believed that all countries in the region could benefit especially from the engagement of equity participation funds. 
 
The panel discussion assessed the investment priorities that are needed to drive Jordan’s economic and social progress.
 
During a separate meeting Jordan's Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour and Sir Suma discussed the EBRD's successful work in the country and how to improve the business climate and provide further support to the private sector.
 
Since the EBRD started investing in Jordan in 2012, it has supported 23 projects in various sectors of the economy, providing finance worth  €435 million
 
On the sidelines of the forum Thomas Maier, the EBRD’s Managing Director for Infrastructure signed with Jordan's Minister of Transport Lina Shbeeb a Memorandum of Understanding that sets out  potential areas of cooperation in the transport sector, focussing on investment opportunities in the private sector.