US$ 10 million financial package to Jordan Commercial Bank

By Nibal Zgheib

US$ 10 million financial package to Jordan Commercial Bank

EBRD and EU boost finance for female, young, and rural populations

The EBRD is partnering with Jordan Commercial Bank (JCB) to support the development of small businesses in Jordan with a US$ 10 million financing package.

A US$ 10 million credit line will be used for on-lending to local micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), which are the backbone of the Jordanian economy.

Access to finance remains a challenge for Jordan's MSMEs, despite the fact that they account for 95 per cent of active firms in the country; MSMEs provide 70 per cent of total private sector employment and generate approximately 40 per cent of gross domestic product.

Dr. Heike Harmgart, EBRD Director for the Eastern Mediterranean region, said: “We are very happy to partner with JCB to support lending to MSMEs. We consider MSMEs the backbone of the economy and a priority sector to develop as it contributes significantly to employment and economic growth.”

Caesar Qulajen, CEO of Jordan Commercial bank, said: “The MSMEs segment play a major role in the development of the economy, especially in light of its vast role in combating poverty and unemployment indicators. The biggest challenge for this segment in Jordan is to obtain financing for their MSMEs projects. The signing of this agreement stems from our belief in the importance of supporting this segment and strengthening its projects and ensuring its continuity.”

The European Union is providing grant support to this transaction as part of a broader initiative channelled through the EBRD and other partners. The EU Financial Inclusion Initiative is a comprehensive programme to help MSME’s in the southern and eastern Mediterranean region to become more competitive and grow. It provides finance and know-how to boost development and create jobs.

Andrea Matteo Fontana, Head of the EU Delegation to Jordan, said: “Thanks to our longstanding and fruitful cooperation with the EBRD, we are able to facilitate access to finance for dynamic entrepreneurs, in particular women and young people, in order to create new jobs in Jordan.”

Jordan became an EBRD country of operations in 2012. To date, the EBRD has committed over US$ 1 billion to 40 projects in Jordan.