Jordan and Tunisia join Euro bank for Development

Ahram Online, Tuesday 3 Jan 2012

New memberships mean two more Arab nations will be able to receive investment and assistance from the Europe-based development bank

EBRD has the capacity to invest up to 2.5 billion euros a year across the southern and eastern Mediterranean region (Photo: Reuters)

Jordan and Tunisia have become members of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) as part of the process of becoming recipients of EBRD investments, the bank announced today in a press release.

Both countries sought membership of the EBRD in 2011, saying that they believed EBRD support would play an important role in helping to implement their programmes of economic and political reform.

Jordan and Tunisia now join Egypt and Morocco as EBRD shareholders in the southern and eastern Mediterranean region, with Egypt and Morocco being founder members when the Bank was established in 1991.

All four countries are the target of support under the Deauville Partnership that was launched under the French presidency of the G-8 in May 2011 in response to the historic changes under way in parts of the Middle East and North Africa.

EBRD announced in April 2011 it would look into expanding its mandate beyond its original remit of Eastern and Central Europe and start investing in the fledging democracies of North Africa.

A three-stage development process in process has already started with the first flow of technical assistance funded by grants from donors.

Technical cooperation funds prepare the way for future EBRD funding, while the second stage in the process, expected in 2012, would be the creation of a special fund that would permit the start of EBRD investments in the four countries ahead of their becoming countries of operations.

EBRD indicated that it has the capacity to invest, in the medium term, up to 2.5 billion euros a year across the southern and eastern Mediterranean region. Any decision by shareholders to begin full-scale investments will take into account political and economic reforms undertaken in the relevant countries 

The bank's board of governors stipulated that the expansion should not require shareholders to raise the bank's capital or undermine the bank's other operations.

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