Amman, Feb. 28 (Petra) -- Jordan has expressed optimism over an aid package it had received from Europe to help economic revival in the Kingdom, accelerate growth and achieve sustainable development.
Jordan pins high hopes on the €3 billion aid to support the general budget and implement public institution programmes, enhance trade and investment and prop up the private sector and fiscal reform.
The Kingdom will also use the aid to sustain local development, particularly the water, tourism, education, scientific research, energy and transport sectors and enhance civil societys role, democracy and governance.
State Minister for Media Affairs and Communications Rakan Majali welcomed the European initiative which coincided with the passage of Jordans austerity budget due to economic hardships facing developing countries as a result of the global economic downturn.
The aid package, he said, clearly reflects the EU position towards the Kingdom as it seeks support for its economy and the reforms adopted under the leadership of His Majesty King Abdullah II.
Planning and International Cooperation Minister Jafar Hassan said the EU assistance and loans, announced during meetings of the EU-Jordan Task Force on Dead Sea shores last week, came as a big boost to the reform programs the Kingdom is pushing through.
The EU has granted Jordan advanced status with the bloc in recognition of its reform efforts and accomplishments made in that regard in political, economic and social fields.
During the task forces meeting, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton highlighted the blocs strong ties with Jordan and said the Kingdoms success is a success for the EU.
The Dead Sea meeting culminated in a €70 million additional EU aid to the Kingdom to support partnership, reform and growth in addition to 223 million euros allocated previously for the 2011-2013 EU aid program. The sum raised the total EU aid to the Kingdom to €293 million.
In addition, the European Investment Bank has increased its 2012-2013 allocations for Jordan to €400 million in soft loans to support development projects, including infrastructure projects in the transport, energy and water fields.
Earlier, the EU commission took a decision to increase investment tool and partnership allocations to €100 million in aid to countries, including Jordan.
Jordans new membership in the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development also helped in providing €300 million for 2012-2013 as soft loans to be used to finance national projects in the transport, water, energy and agriculture sectors.
The EUs financial assistance package to Jordan will reach €3 billion over the next three years, of which 1.2 billion from EU member states will be available in the next 12 months.
28/2/2012 - 04:01:11 PM
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