PM meets with WB Group officials over support for Kingdom’s development

Prime Minister Omar Razzaz on Wednesday met with executive directors of the World Bank (WB) Group, including the officials of the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).

Heading an economic-ministerial delegation to Washington, Razzaz stressed Jordan’s keenness on maintaining the relationship between the Kingdom and the WB Group, particularly in regards to providing funding and expertise to support Jordan’s developmental efforts, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The delegation’s meetings with the international bodies seek to garner support for Jordan’s sustainable development plans.

The premier and the accompanying delegation also participated in a panel discussion with representatives of the World Bank’s secretary general and officials concerned with the Kingdom’s file, covering key projects funded by the bank, as well as future plans.

The delegation presented an evaluation of developments in the Kingdom’s economic and political reforms and WB-funded projects, according to Petra.

Razzaz also met with the IFC’s CEO, Philippe Le Houèrou, during which they discussed mechanisms of bilateral cooperation, with Razzaz stressing the strategic partnership between Jordan and the institution.

The IFC is currently collaborating with the government on establishing a fund to study and provide preparatory technical consultations on joint projects between the public and private sectors, according to Petra.

The prime minister briefed Le Houèrou on regional challenges and their repercussions on the country’s economy, particularly the Syrian crisis.

He pointed out that the government had devised a five-year matrix to promote economic growth and create job opportunities, referring to the procedures and government decisions to reduce expenses and boost revenues.

He also pointed out that his visit to Iraq yielded important results regarding reopening the border and boosting exports, as well as the signing agreements in the fields of trade, energy and oil and reducing customs duties for Jordanian exports.

Razzaz stressed that the government is seeking to further benefit from the free trade agreement with the US and also benefit from the agreement on simplifying the rules of origin with the EU.

“We look forward to the London conference, to be held at the end of next February, as an opportunity to explain Jordan’s visions in the fields of growth and investment, and to garner support to funding many major and vital projects,” he said.

“Jordan is a perfect investment partner and the talks were fruitful with the Jordanian prime minister,” Le Houérou said.

Jordan is an important IFC investment partner, he said.

Regional investments have increased thanks to the new approach and the fact that Jordan is always working towards advancement in all fields, he added.

As a result of the relationship and cooperation between Jordan and the WB, the WB was encouraged to grant Jordan a new loan this year, at lower interest rates compared with previous loans. 

The IFC supports several partnership projects with the private and public sector, small and medium-sized enterprises for low-income earners and entrepreneurial projects in Jordan and the world.

Meanwhile, Razzaz held a meeting Wednesday with US Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan, and discussed bilateral ties and means of strengthening economic and trade cooperation.

He commended the US assistance to the Kingdom, particularly the five-year MoU that includes a financial aid package, stressing that Jordan has exceeded its capacity regarding the hosting of refugees and calling on the international community to shoulder its responsibilities.