Jordan, France sign debt conversion agreement
Jordan and France on Tuesday, July 17, signed an agreement to convert €2.8 million ($2.38 million) worth of Jordan's bilateral debt, a statement from the French embassy said.
The deal is aimed at financing the purchase of a voice communication switching system and a passenger baggage handling system to modernize the kingdom's airports.
Jordan will pay for the equipment over 30 years with a grace period of 10 years and at an interest rate of 3.8 percent, the statement added.
French Ambassador Bernard Emie noted that Tuesday's agreement was fixed to the euro in the first such accord between Jordan and France ahead of Europe's monetary reforms in January 2002, when the euro will become the official currency in 12 countries.
Tuesday's agreement follows a decision adopted between France and Jordan in November 1999 to convert or reschedule 15 percent of Jordan's debt to France.
At the time the two countries agreed to convert $63.5 million of Jordan's outstanding debt into investment in the kingdom and to reschedule some $11.4 million.
Jordan is burdened by a seven-billion-dollar external debt, including $564 million owed to France, according to Central Bank figures. France is Jordan's second creditor nation after Japan and the first foreign investor in the kingdom. ― (AFP, Amman)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)