AMMONNEWS - Jordan and the European Investment Bank (EIB) on Monday discussed prospects of further cooperation in priority fields, on the backdrop of the bank’s decision to increase funding of its three-year Economic Resilience Initiative to 15 billion euros.
The issue was discussed during a meeting in Amman between Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Imad Fakhoury and EIB’s Vice President Dario Scannapieco.
The priority sectors agreed upon include renewable energy, energy efficiency, transportation, roads, finance and banking and the increase of private businesses’ share in economy, a ministry statement said.
According to the EIB, the initiative came in response to a call from the European Council to increase financing to EU’s neighbouring countries and support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The initiative aims to “boost economic resilience in the southern Neighbourhood and the western Balkans, also in the context of the migration challenge, by upgrading and developing social and economic infrastructure and stimulating growth and job creation”, the bank’s website said.
Fakhoury thanked the bank for its support of the targeted sectors through concessional loans, which focused in the previous stage on mining, education, infrastructure, SMEs, water, roads and transportation, in addition to private sector support.
He also underlined the EIB’s supportive stand in Jordan during last year’s donor conference in London, where the bank showed understanding of the difficulties the Kingdom has been experiencing as a major host of Syrian refugees.
In this context, they discussed the April 4-5 Brussels-hosted conference organised by the EU to discuss the future of Syria.
The meeting will be co-chaired by the EU, the UK, Germany, Norway, Kuwait, Qatar and the UN.
Fakhoury stressed the need to build on the outcome of the London conference to keep the momentum of progress made so far. He called for shedding the light on the successes made by the nations targeted with assistance, and the impact of the assistance on the quality of services offered to refugees and on the livelihood of host communities.
Participants in the conference, he said, should identify the loopholes and the future needs of refugee-host countries. He also urged stakeholders to link the outcomes of the upcoming Brussels meeting to those of the G-7 and the G-20 in order to maintain the momentum of efforts throughout 2017.
The visiting EIB executive voiced the bank’s willingness to continue supporting Jordan as it executes priority projects, stating that European states hold the Kingdom in high esteem for the role it plays in the regional peace drive and the developmental and reform model it embraces. He added that Europe is aware of the magnitude of the challenges facing the country amid regional turmoil.
Since the inception of its operations in Jordan in 1999, the bank has accumulated a portfolio of 647.5 million euros extended to finance vital projects.