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EU’s financial aid insufficient to impact Jordan’s economy, says EU Ambassador

By : Nedal Zubeidi

Jordan Daily – The European Union (EU) has doubled its financial support to Jordan since the start of the Syrian refugee crisis in 2011, with an annual volume of grants now worth 200 million euros and an average of 100 million in loans, according to EU Ambassador to Jordan, Pierre-Christophe Chatzisavas.

The EU has provided Jordan with a sense of predictability in terms of support, freezing an amount in response to the Syrian refugee crisis as part of its multi-annual financial framework that will last until 2027. “Jordan can be reassured that the EU will sustain support in response to the Syrian refugee crisis until at least 2027,” Chatzisavas said.

The ambassador’s comments came ahead of the first EU-Jordan Business Forum next June, aimed at enhancing trade relations and business with Jordan. The Netherlands, Spain, and Belgium are the main importers of Jordanian products, while France is one of the top investors in the country.

Chatzisavas noted that the current volume of cooperation, grants, and loans will not significantly impact Jordan’s real economy. “This is why we have come to the conclusion that it was time to engage directly with the business community,” he said, adding that the forum will offer an opportunity for the business community to voice its concerns and establish business-to-business relations.

Dr. Khair Abu Sa’ilik, President of the Jordan Economic Forum (JEF), opened the session, JEF hosted, by emphasizing the importance of the discussion, titled “How to Elevate Economic Relations Between the European Union and Jordan to the Next Level.” He called for concerted efforts to open up economic relations that benefit all parties.

He stated during the session attended by EU ambassadors of Belgium , Ireland , Spain, France , Netherlands , Sweden and members of the forum, that Jordan seeks to enhance political relations with the European Union while underscoring the need to improve economic cooperation to achieve greater commercial benefits , stressing that economic relations between Jordan and the European Union have not yet been fully exploited, calling for concerted efforts to open up economic relations that benefit all parties.

Abu Sa’ilik who is also a member of Parliament , noted that Jordan hosts more than 1.3 million Syrian refugees from neighboring countries, who share limited resources with Jordanians , emphasizing that the international community has failed in its commitments to both the refugees and the host communities and must provide the necessary support to Jordan.

EU ambassadors highlighted the positive results of Jordan when it comes to debt service, fiscal reports, and control of inflation, largely thanks to the peg with the dollar. They also noted that rating agencies Moody and Fitch upgraded Jordan for the first time in 21 years, a reward for the resilience of the Jordanian economy.

The ambassadors added that the volume of foreign direct investment (FDI) coming from Europe is approximately 5 billion , suggesting that the services sector could be further developed, thanks to the skilled labor force in Jordan.

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