The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) on Thursday opened a permanent office in Jordan in a step described by executives as long-term commitment to supporting economic development in the Kingdom.
The opening of the new office, at Amman’s Emaar Towers near the Sixth Circle, was attended by Planning and International Cooperation Minister Ibrahim Saif, EBRD Vice President and Chief Risk Officer Betsy Nelson, Managing Director for the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Hildegard Gacek and Head of Jordan Resident Office Heike Harmgart, in addition to a large number of private sector representatives in Jordan.
The new office will play a key role in accelerating the EBRD’s activities and contributing to new investments in the country, Harmgart said.
Describing the Kingdom as a role model for social and economic reform in the region, Harmgart added that Jordan can become a leader in terms of innovation and economic transition.
Having invested 11 billion euros in renewable energy since 2006 through EBRD’s Sustainable Energy Initiative, she noted that the London-based bank can help increase Jordanian businesses’ use of renewable energy. 
“There is enormous potential for both solar and wind energy. Jordan can be a model for how a country with no conventional energy resources can begin to generate its own,” she indicated.
Harmgart said the EBRD, in cooperation with the European Investment Bank and the German Development Bank, will establish the Jordan Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (JoSEFF) to provide local banks with credit to improve their clients’ energy efficiency and help them to invest in renewable energy projects.
“The opening of this office in Jordan is a very important step for the EBRD and for Jordan. We are committed to the development of the Jordanian economy and we look forward to accelerating our investments and to supporting the country’s plans for reform,” Nelson said.
The bank’s activities in Jordan will focus on overall economic growth, developing the private sector,  promoting energy efficiency, supporting renewable energy, and improving infrastructure and municipal services, including water and wastewater treatment, she added.
Saif described the establishment of a permanent office for EBRD in Jordan as an important step for cooperation between the two sides, noting that it will facilitate lending tools of technical assistance and soft loans for key sectors.
The bank said in a statement that it would help in strengthening the country’s financial sector by providing finance for small- and medium-sized enterprises,  boosting the creation of high-quality private sector jobs and developing a resilient economy.
The EBRD has already invested in two major projects in Jordan: A $100 million loan for Al Manakher Power Plant and a $80 million credit for the Abdali shopping mall and entertainment centre in Amman.
In addition, trade finance programmes have been established with InvestBank and Cairo Amman Bank to support international and intra-regional trade.