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The EU has agreed to provide financial assistance package worth US$4 billion to Jordan over the next three years, of which US$1.6 billion will be available in 12 months.
Jordan-EU Task Force meeting
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission Catherine Ashton made the announcement with Prime Minister Awn Khasawneh at the end of the Jordan-EU Task Force meeting held in Jordan.
Khasawneh said the meeting had been "successful in tackling frameworks of cooperation and support that can be provided by the EU to Jordan's political and economic reforms."
"The meeting sessions were very fruitful as we exchanged ideas and views on the democratic discourse we have been undertaking and we briefed our European partners on the economic challenges and legislative changes that have started," Khasawneh said.
Focus on a limited priorities
Expanding on what the assistance package entailed, Ashton said the EU will make available an additional amount of US$92.4mn in line with the Principles of the Communication of March 2011, making US$40mn available immediately. She added that the EU support will focus on a limited number of priorities with particular emphasis on good governance and economic growth.
"The European Investment Bank is currently working on an extensive pipeline of already identified new projects with an estimated lending activities of up to 400 million euros over the next two years," Ashton said.
She added that: "Jordan will also be eligible for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development's investment [that is] expected to build up over 2-3 years to an annual volume of around US$396mn depending on the needs and opportunities given."
On the sidelines
On the sidelines of the press conference, the two sides signed US$19.8mn and US$6.6mn agreements, under which the EU will fund the second phases of the reinforcement of modernisation of the services, technology and innovation sectors.
Dialogue on economic reforms
Both sides also agreed to launch a dialogue on economic reforms to enhance competitiveness, including such key areas as attracting inward investments, boosting innovation and encouraging business start-ups, and expanding small and medium enterprises.