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Investment in its regional dimension

Mar 25,2019 - Last updated at Mar 25,2019

Investment in its regional dimension has always been an essential requirement for the Jordanian private sector. It enables the implementation of major projects based on capital participation, the accumulated experience of the private sector, the promotion of public-private partnership projects, the alleviation of burdens from the public sector and the ability to spend on health and social services. Plus, enabling private sector investment in infrastructure projects; a trend initiated by most developed economies, and proved a great success.

The Saudi-Jordanian Investment Fund (SJIF), of which Jordanian banks are part, not only in its capital, but also in its accumulated experience, was the result of Saudi-Jordanian cooperation, and one of the outputs of the Jordanian-Saudi Coordination Council, established in 2016. The investment partnership between the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund and the Jordan Investment Fund is an important example of the regional cooperation in the field of investment, and can be considered a model for other regional investment projects.

The company is committed to investing $3 billion from its own sources. It will also attract investment from investors and financiers to carry out vital projects with developmental dimensions in Jordan. The total investments will reach $10 billion and will make a difference on the ground in terms of job creation and upgrading infrastructure services that serve all economic and social activities.

The JD500-million project constitutes the first investment project of the company, in which a railway between the port of Aqaba and the dry port of Maan will be developed. It is the first phase of Jordan’s national railway network. This railway will be linked with the current railway after its rehabilitation. Also, a land port will be built in Maan, linking the railway network to phosphate and fertiliser plants in Sheidiya. Locomotives and communications systems and equipment will also be renewed. The Aqaba-Maan railway and the Maan dry port project, SJIF’s first major investments in Jordan, are expected to enhance Jordan’s transportation sector and its capabilities in logistic services, as well as job creation amongst the local communities in Aqaba and Maan. All these investment projects will be implemented under the build-operate-transfer system, in a clear promotion of the principle of public-private partnership.

The investments will reach large sectors, some of which were specified by the Jordan Investment Fund Law, and others are decided by the government. This is evidence that the fund is a developmental tool that includes infrastructure, agriculture and industrial sectors and projects of economic value for the national economy.

Banks, in addition to being a shareholder in this company, will be part of the financing process, whether by participating in bonds, Islamic financing instruments or syndicated bank loans that feed such projects.

 

The writer is director general of the Association of Banks in Jordan. He contributed this article to The Jordan Times

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