A financing agreement worth €15 million (JD 15.1 million) as support to the Jordan Services Modernization Programme provided by the European Union to Jordan was signed today, Thursday, 18 September 2008, at the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation.
The grant agreement was signed by Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Suhair Al-Ali, on behalf of the Government of Jordan, and the Head of the European Commission Delegation in Amman, Ambassador Patrick Renauld, on behalf of the European Commission, in the presence of the Minister of Industry and Trade, Eng. Amer Al-Hadidi, the Secretary General of the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, Mr. Naser Shraideh, and the Chief Executive Officer of the Jordan Enterprise Development Corporation, Eng. Yarub Qudah.
A delegation agreement has also been signed between the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation and the Jordan Enterprise Development Corporation authorizing the latter to implement the programme.
Minister Al-Ali highlighted that this programme aims at promoting and raising the competitiveness of the services sector in Jordan both locally and internationally, through developing the work of small and medium enterprises in a number of important services sectors such as Business, Finance, Construction, Travel and Tourism, Telecommunications, Health, Transport, Education, Distribution, and Environmental services; in addition to facilitating access to finance for these SMEs through a Financial Support Scheme.
Al-Ali also added that these activities will be implemented under the programme's different components, which include technical support, service exports promotion, financial support and loan guarantee scheme, capacity building, policy support, and establishing a database of Jordanian companies to assist in business development and matchmaking.
Al-Ali praised the existing Jordanian-European bilateral relations and reiterated Jordan’s keenness to maintaining and further strengthening its bilateral ties with the European Union in areas of mutual interest.
On his part, Ambassador of the European Commission Delegation Ambassador Patrick Renault said he was pleased to take part in the signing ceremony and commended the level of relations between Jordan and the EU, which was further enhanced under the framework of the EU-Jordan Association Agreement of this Barcelona Process and the European Neighbourhood Policy. He expressed hope that implementation of the funding agreement will achieve increased progress and success for Jordan.