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EBRD to focus on Jordan's energy, infrastructure, private sector
October 1, 2014 / 4:43 PM / 3 years ago

EBRD to focus on Jordan's energy, infrastructure, private sector

LONDON, Oct 1 (Reuters) - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is launching its first strategic plan for Jordan focusing on energy and infrastructure and boosting the economic clout of the private sector.

In a statement on Wednesday, the bank said its strategy will focus on promoting energy efficiency and sustainability, improving access to finance for businesses and boosting the role of the private sector in public infrastructure projects.

"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," said Heike Harmgart, head of the EBRD's Jordan office.

The strategic plan for Jordan is the first since the country joined the EBRD in 2012 since when it has committed 206 million euros to 12 projects.

Jordan's economy is expected to grow 3 percent this year according to the International Monetary Fund but it is having to shoulder the cost of accommodating 600,000 refugees from the civil war in neighbouring Syria.

Investment sentiment has also been hit by the spillover effect of regional unrest, with the conflicts in Gaza and Iraq acting as a dampening effect on tourism and business.

Set up by governments in 1991 to support the ex-communist states of eastern Europe, the EBRD has expanded its mandate to invest in Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt after uprisings unseated decades-old dictatorships in parts of the Middle East.

It said in November it would invest up to 800 million euros this year in key Arab countries hit by political turmoil to help bolster regional stability and spur growth. (Reporting by Chris Vellacott; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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