The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said it could invest as much as 150 million euros in Jordan in 2017, up from 120 million euros the previous year.
“Last year’s target started off with 120 million euros that we wanted to invest, I think we will be more aggressive this year, maybe 150 million euros,” said Heike Harmgart, the head of the EBRD office in Jordan. “The good thing is that we are open for business, so if we do much more it’s going to be great. There’s no limit.”
Besides helping companies bidding to be part of the third round of renewable energy projects, Harmgart said the EBRD is also looking to provide financing and training for firms that qualify for the new EU rules of origin agreement. “We need to find companies that may need a bit more expertise, may need a bit more capacity, and may need to find them a market niche but in principle are close to exporting to the EU. We are open for anyone to approach us,” she said, citing a new advisory program on exports acceleration to the EU the EBRD recently launched.
The EBRD, which has invested $1 billion in Jordan since it began operations in the country in late 2012, will also cooperate with the ILO and the UNHCR to match make Syrian labor with these projects. The agreement with the EU stipulates at least 15 percent of each participating company’s workforce must be Syrian refugees.
Beyond the EU deal, the EBRD hopes to help the Greater Amman Municipality become more bankable, in part by helping it issue bonds. Furthermore, the EBRD aims to increase the number of local banks involved in the financing of SMEs financing project from three to six, while also helping smaller cities like Irbid, Zarqa, and Madaba in creating a more effective and sustainable bus network.