Planning ministry, IsDB ink agreements on food security, tourism

(File Photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN —The Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group signed Thursday three agreements, worth more than $210 million, to support food security and the tourism sector, according to Jordan News Agency, Petra.اضافة اعلان

Planning Minister Nasser Shraideh and the IsDB group's Chairman Muhammad Sulaiman al-Jasser signed the agreements, the first of which consists of a $200 million deferred sale agreement and a $10 million interest-free loan to fund Jordan's emergency food security project, while the third is a $50,000 agreement to support small- and medium-sized enterprises in the tourism sector.

During a meeting with al-Jasser after the signing, Prime Minister Bisher Khasawneh highlighted His Majesty King Abdullah II's forward-looking vision to secure strategic food stocks in containers and grain silos and enhance the reservoir of basic commodities, noting that this has spared the Kingdom a wave of hiked prices due to the Russo-Ukrainian crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic.

He pointed to the 10-year Economic Modernization Vision, a major reform project for the Kingdom, which aims to create about one million job opportunities for Jordanians and raise the growth rate to about 5 percent. The premier also underscored the importance of empowering the private sector and increasing its contribution to development efforts and attracting local and foreign investments to achieve the vision's goals, which include attracting annual investments of about JD1.5 million.

To that end, legislators approved recently the Investment Environment Law, which offers incentives to investors, facilitates the investment process, and reduces red-tape, Khasawneh said, indicating that the law also offers exemptions to investments in the governorates, especially those that create job opportunities for Jordanians.

The Prime Minister commended the IsDB's contributions and its ongoing support for economic projects in the Kingdom, voicing hope to continue the partnership in other areas, including modernizing the public sector.

Shraideh, for his part, underlined the importance of the funding to enhance Jordan's reserves of strategic commodities, such as wheat and barley, build new storage containers and strengthen the food security system in Jordan to face future grain price fluctuations.

On the agreement to support the tourism sector, the minister stated that it aims to help owners of small and medium enterprises overcome the repercussions of the Coronavirus pandemic, resume their activities and preserve job opportunities, hailing the bank's support for various development projects and the government's efforts to address the challenges that Jordan faces, including the Syrian refugee crisis, the coronavirus pandemic and the Russian-Ukrainian crisis.

He also pointed to the important role that the group's subsidiaries play, calling for increasing their effectiveness and access to the private sector in member states, including Jordan.

In turn, al-Jasser stressed the bank's interest in continuing to support and implement development and service projects in Jordan, pointing to the government's reform efforts that would improve the business and investment environment.

He noted the bank's commitment to strengthening cooperation with the Jordanian government in various fields under bilateral and regional initiatives, in addition to working with the international community, other development partners and the private sector to enhance partnership and cooperation to support social and economic development efforts in Jordan.

He said the bank is committed to dedicating its resources to support Jordan, pointing out that these two agreements are the first funding agreements of this size to be inked with the Kingdom.

It is worthy to note that, by 2022, the bank channeled $2.7 billion into the Kingdom's development efforts, and $2.5 billion into investment and export credit insurance operations carried out by the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit.

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