AMMAN — Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ) Deputy Governor Adel Sharkas on Tuesday urged businesspeople in Aqaba and the southern governorates to make the most of the CBJ’s financing programme to boost economic growth, according to a CBJ statement.
Taking part in the first forum on financing programmes for SMEs organised by the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority, Sharkas said that the programme is implemented through commercial and Islamic banks with the aim of boosting development, improving citizens’ living standards and creating job opportunities.
Sharkas said that the value of loans granted through the programme, which focuses on the industry, renewable energy and tourism sectors, has reached around JD703 million, constituting 58.3 per cent of its budget.
The industry sector took the lion’s share with 50 per cent of loans, followed by renewable energy with 30 per cent and tourism with 9 per cent, he said in the statement carried by the Jordan News Agency, Petra.
On beneficiaries and job opportunities, the programme has funded around 1,050 projects and generated 10,000 jobs as Amman received the largest portion of the programme's projects, totalling 570, while the other 480 projects were distributed across the Kingdom's various governorates.
The programme offers competitive interest rates to targeted sectors at an average of 4.32 per cent, which denotes a 3.38 per cent decrease in the average rate offered since the launch of the programme in 2012, Petra said.
The deputy governor said that the programme aims at providing better opportunities for economic sectors to receive funding with proper terms, especially in sectors of high added value to the national economy.
Sharkas said that the programme has allocated JD1.2 billion towards funding projects, which equals 5 per cent of the direct facilities granted by banks.