Jordan gains $6bn from privatisation

24 January 2003
Privatisation of state-owned companies has brought Jordan revenues of almost $6,000 million over the past six years, according to a government report on the privatisation programme released on 22 January. The report said that projects in the housing, health, water and education sectors had benefited from the proceeds. Singled out were the wastewater treatment plant at Kherbet al-Samra and the Disi water conveyance project, both part-funded by private investors (MEED 10:1:03; 2:8:02). The proceeds had also been deployed to reduce external debts and replenish the Central Bank of Jordan's currency reserves, the report said. Slated for future privatisation are the National Electric Power Generating Company, Jordan Phosphate Mines Companyand Jordanian Silos Company.

Development projects in Jordan have also benefited from foreign assistance, and on 23 January the German government announced a Eur 1 million ($1.1 million) grant to finance a groundwater research management project, to run until 2006. Water scarcity is one of the key constraints on Jordan's economic development (MEED 21:6:02). 'Our aim is to preserve groundwater sources from pollution caused by urban and industrial development,' said Planning Minister Bassem Awadallah at the signing ceremony. On 22 January, the World Bank announced a $305 million aid package for the kingdom and, the day before, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) pledged $145.5 million (MEED 23:1:03).

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