Jordan is holding consultations with the World Bank to obtain a $1 billion loan as part of the kingdom’s efforts to reduce its debt burden and revive its struggling economy.
Jordanian Prime Minister Omar Al-Razzaz said yesterday on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum held at the Dead Sea, that the government “is moving on several fronts to reduce the high debt burden by considering concessional loans and focusing on triggering economic growth”, Bloomberg reported.
Jordan is seeking a 30-year facility with the World Bank at an interest rate of four per cent, he said.
Public debt which is estimated at $39.9 billion is almost equivalent to the kingdom’s economic output.
The kingdom is burdened by hosting more than one million Syrian refugees as well as global rise in prices.
Last year, the United States pledged more than $6 billion in aid to Jordan over the next five years, up from $1 billion a year earlier. Saudi Arabia and two other Gulf states have also pledged to support Jordan after a government proposal to raise income tax sparked angry protests across the kingdom.
The reopening of the Jordanian-Iraqi border increased Jordanian exports by 13 per cent in the first quarter of 2019.
“We are working on driving economic growth, increasing exports,” Al-Razzaz said, adding that the two countries plan to link their electric grids and build an industrial zone near the border.