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EBRD, UK and Jordan launch private investment drive

By Nibal Zgheib

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Workshop in Jordan

  • EBRD, FCDO and JIC launch investment promotion project
  • Goal is to mobilise contributions from Jordan’s diaspora
  • Developing entrepreneurship, innovation and the economy

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the UK Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and the Jordan Investment Commission (JIC) are partnering to promote foreign direct investment (FDI) in Jordan as an indispensable source of development and growth.

The institutions are setting up an investment promotion project with the goal to attract investment from the Jordanian diaspora, investors based in the Gulf, the UK and other international markets. The partners will also support Jordan to position itself at key international events such as the Dubai Expo 2021-22.

Jordan’s diaspora represents an important repository of knowledge, skills and potential financial resources. Financial flows can be channelled to foster entrepreneurship, support innovation and develop priority sectors of the economy.

Attracting FDI is essential for Jordan to boost its growth rate which is currently below the needs of a rapidly growing population. This challenge is even bigger in the face of the current coronavirus pandemic that has led to steep declines around the world as the global economy slumped to its worst recession since the 1930s.  

The initiative by the EBRD and JIC, which is funded by the UK government, follows the 2019 London Conference, which was held to promote job creation and inclusive economic growth in Jordan. It comes under the framework of the EBRD Investment Climate and Governance Initiative (ICGI) that supports improvements in the investment climate and economic governance, unlocking economic potential.

The project was launched at a virtual event attended by Philip ter Woort, EBRD Director, Eastern Mediterranean region; Bridget Brind, UK Ambassador to Jordan; Nasser Shraideh, Jordanian Minister of Planning and International Cooperation; and Fareedon Hartoqa, Acting Chairman and Secretary General of JIC.

Mr ter Woort said: ”We are happy to partner with FCDO and JIC to develop the Jordanian economy. Through this important cooperation we are joining forces to attract domestic and foreign investments to the country to support the private sector and to help boost economic growth and job creation.”

Ms Brind stated: “The aim of the 2019 London Initiative was to bring the government of Jordan, the international community and private sector together to support sustainable growth and jobs. The UK is delighted to be working with the Jordan Investment Commission and the EBRD to co-launch this project to deliver on precisely this objective.”

Mr Hartoqa added: “The importance of this project lies in emphasising the fact that Jordan is always open for business even in adverse times. We are always looking for opportunities to attract FDI, especially into sectors that have showed great resilience over the past year such as the information and communications technology sector, business services, in addition to other sectors that have emerged to become a national priority such as the agriculture, manufacturing and health sectors. JIC is also committed to mobilise the Jordanian diaspora abroad, hence in this project we are targeting the Jordanian diaspora in the GCC countries to invest in their home country, in addition to UK investors. The EBRD and the UK remain strategic partners to Jordan and we at JIC will continue to build on this relationship”.

Since the start of its operations in Jordan in 2012, the EBRD has provided more than €1.5 billion in financing for 59 projects.


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