May to Announce $250-Million World Bank Loan to Jordan

Published February 28th, 2019 - 08:22 GMT
May to Announce $250-Million World Bank Loan to Jordan. (Shutterstock)
May to Announce $250-Million World Bank Loan to Jordan. (Shutterstock)

UK Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to announce at the London initiative today further support for Jordan’s “ambitious plans” for economic growth.

In a scheduled address to governments, businesses and international agencies at the major conference to support the Kingdom’s investment and economy, May will reaffirm the UK’s commitment to Jordan’s long-term stability and prosperity, a statement from 10 Downing Street said.

“Unlocking that potential, to enable Jordan to prosper and remain a beacon of stability, matters to all of us. Jordan sits at the centre of a region that has faced turbulence and uncertainty over the last decade,” May is expected to say in her address, according to her office

The PM is also expected to announce a $250-million World Bank loan to Jordan, reiterating her commitment to using Britain’s development programme in the UK’s national interest and in close partnership with the private sector, according to the statement.

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“This will help Jordan to borrow money at a lower rate and manage its national debt. Underwriting the loan demonstrates confidence in Jordan’s economy that will encourage further investment, helping the government to implement its crucial economic reforms,” her office said.

She will outline the UK’s continued commitment to support Jordan’s economic growth and urge others to join the UK and invest in Jordan’s future, the statement added.

“Jordan has been steadfast in the fight against terrorism. Steadfast as an ally in the Global Coalition against Daesh. Steadfast in pursuing peace and promoting stability in the Middle East. For decades, on these, and other issues, Jordan and the UK have stood side by side,” the premier will add.

May will also call on CEOs and international partners at the conference, co-hosted by the British government and Jordan under the title “Jordan: Growth & Opportunity”, to step up their investment in the Kingdom’s future, aiming to help the country deliver reforms to create jobs, support entrepreneurs, boost productivity and help access low interest loans.

According to 10 Downing Street, the UK’s wide-ranging offer of economic support to the Kingdom will include a contribution to a global finance initiative supporting SMEs, enabling banks to give out more loans to Jordanian entrepreneurs setting up small-and medium-sized businesses.

Also as part of the package, trade experts would advise Jordanian companies looking to invest in the UK, and British and international companies who want to export to Jordan. 

The UK will also announce a partnership between the Bank of England and the Central Bank of Jordan to ensure reforms are introduced smoothly, according to the statement.

A £14-million contribution to a new World Bank-led trust fund for Jordan is also expected to be announced during the event as part of the British support bundle. 

“This pools international donations which will be spent on modernising government systems, promoting exports and making it easier to do business,” the statement said.

According to May, this support would “open the door to reinvigorating Jordan’s economy, and stimulating the growth needed to create jobs”.

“As I told leaders at the first EU-League of Arab States summit earlier this week — a stable, peaceful, prosperous region matters to the UK, Europe and beyond,” May is going to affirm in her address today.

The UK’s approach in supporting Jordan “is about working as partners, sharing our skills, experience and resources to jointly tackle the challenges we face in a way that delivers global security and prosperity”, May is expected to add.

Meanwhile, a UK official told reporters on Wednesday that loans, grants and projects in several areas are scheduled to be announced during the event. 

“Some public-private partnerships to implement projects in the field of infrastructure are to be announced Thursday,” the official said. 

The official added that there will be a follow-up mechanism that will be announced today to measure progress in the outcomes of the event.

“The follow-up seeks to make sure that everything is moving as planned,” he said. 

“Jordan is a strategic partner for us and we will continue to support it. Jordan needs jobs and economic growth and this activity seeks to achieve that,” he said.

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