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Aqaba forum focuses on SMEs’ role

By JT - Jul 05,2019 - Last updated at Jul 05,2019

AMMAN — The first forum on finance programmes for SMEs commenced in Aqaba on Thursday with the participation of the Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ), the Jordan Loan Guarantee Corporation (JLGC) and commercial and Islamic banks. 

Nayef Bakhit, chief commissioner of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA), which organised the event, highlighted the vital role of finance programmes implemented by the CBJ to boost economic growth, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. 

Bakhit added that most of the industrial facilities, production and service projects in the Kingdom are classified as SMEs, which means that addressing challenges facing them should be a priority. 

CBJ Deputy Governor Adel Sharkas said that these programmes aim at providing better opportunities for economic sectors to receive funding with proper terms, especially in sectors of high added value to the national economy. 

Sharkas said that the amount of money available under these programmes reaches some JD1.2 billion, which equals 5 per cent of the direct facilities granted by banks.

The sum of loans available for each client stands at JD4 million for renewable energy and transport projects and JD2 million for other sectors, the deputy governor said, adding that these loans are granted with satisfactory repayment terms and grace periods. 

JLGC Director General Mohammad Jaafari said that the percentage of loan guarantees for industrial, service and start-up projects ranges between 70 and 80 per cent, while the percentage of projects run by women ranges between 50 and 80 per cent.

ASEZA Deputy Chief Commissioner and Commissioner of Investment Imad Hijazin said that SMEs constitute 97 per cent of the total projects in the Kingdom and contribute 40 per cent to the GDP.

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