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US’ Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) invests further $600 million in Jordan, $1 billion in total

Planning and International Cooperation Minister Imad Fakhoury meets with the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation Managing Director Structured Finance Nancy Rivera in Amman on Thursday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — The US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has allocated around $600 million to support development projects in Jordan, within the public-private partnership, the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation said on Thursday. 
The funding was announced during a meeting between Planning Minister Imad Fakhoury and the US agency’s Managing Director Structured Finance Nancy Rivera to discuss projects funded by the agency in Jordan, which has invested around $1 billion in the Kingdom.
 
During the meeting, Fakhoury showcased priority development projects, including the Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance Project (Red-Dead), the Amman civil airport rehabilitation project and several projects to process solid waste and generate energy, in addition to renewable energy, green economy, transportation and water projects, a statement from the ministry said. 
Jordan suffers economic and social challenges, most significantly increases in poverty and unemployment, aggravated by the effects of the Syrian crisis, the minister said, stressing the importance of the international community’s assistance in shouldering these responsibilities. 
 
The Jordan Response Plan 2017-2019 set to deal with the crisis’ repercussions obliges the international community to provide additional support for Jordan, beyond the commitments pledged in bilateral agreements, Fakhoury explained, adding that this support would enable Jordan to continue providing services to both refugees and Jordanian host communities, as well as to maintain the Kingdom’s resilience.  
The planning minister highlighted the importance of preserving the national economy by implementing structural and financial reforms, as well as increasing growth rates, to overcome challenges.
 
The government adopted a set of measures to facilitate business practice and endorsed a set of priority laws and regulations to improve the business environment, Fakhoury said, stressing the importance of the Jordan Vision 2025, which he said is an economic and social vision for the next 10 years, and a roadmap for development in Jordan. 
 
Fakhoury and the OPIC delegation discussed cooperation in priority fields, and Rivera outlined the agency’s activities in Jordan and throughout the world, noting that the value of their overall support project is $20 billion.
As for OPIC-funded projects in Jordan, Rivera said they are valued at around $1 billion and are the highest in proportion to the Kingdom’s economy volume and population.
 
Rivera voiced her agency’s readiness to contribute in supporting priority projects in the Kingdom, the statement said, adding that OPIC is the US government’s funding arm to the private sector, providing guarantees to seven trade banks in Jordan at a value of $250 million. 
OPIC also contributed to funding energy projects in Jordan at a value of $195 million. 
 
Previous OPIC-supported projects include the Amman East Power Plant, a 380MW combined-cycle, gas-fired plant 30 kilometres east of Amman, operational since 2009. The facility is the first independent power plant in the country and is one of the largest foreign-investment energy projects in Jordan.
 
Jordan Times
March 16, 2017