EBRD adopts first country strategy for Jordan

By Nibal Zgheib

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Jordan cityscape at sunset

The Board of Directors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has approved the first country strategy for Jordan, which focuses on three key priorities identified in cooperation with the Jordanian government: energy, the private sector and infrastructure.

The Bank will develop the energy sector by enhancing energy sustainability, in particular by using the country’s  potential for solar and wind power. It will also promote energy efficiency schemes and contribute to policy reforms.

Boosting the role of the private sector in Jordan is one of the main ways in which the EBRD aims to tackle the lack of access to finance for SMEs and the skills mismatch in the labour market. This approach also helps the Bank to promote inclusive growth and greater participation by women and youth in the workforce.

Building on its experience in the countries of eastern Europe and Central Asia, the EBRD will support private sector participation in public infrastructure projects to boost competitiveness and increase the efficiency and accessibility of public services.

Dr. Heike Harmgart, Head of the EBRD Resident Office in Jordan, said: “This strategy is a key milestone in our commitment to support market development in Jordan as it will anchor our work for four years around the country’s priorities. We will take a holistic approach in implementing our investments and continuing our policy dialogue to boost economic growth and achieve the reforms needed.”

Jordan became a member of the Bank in 2012 and to date the EBRD has committed €206 million across 12 projects in the country in various sectors. Through the EBRD’s Small Business Support programme the Bank has also initiated 65 technical assistance capacity-building support programmes that directly benefit Jordanian small and medium-sized enterprises.

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