Saudi Arabia to invest billions of dollars in Jordan

A joint coordination council is being set up to target the investment



Saudi Arabia and Jordan will set up a joint coordination council to oversee billions of dollars of investment in the Hashemite Kingdom from the Saudi Public Investment Fund, according to reports.

The move follows the unveiling of the kingdom’s ‘Vision 2030’ reforms this week that will increase the capital of the fund to SAR 7 trillion ($2 trillion) from SAR 600bn ($160bn).

Bloomberg cited King Abdullah II’s special envoy to Saudi Arabia Bassem Awadallah as saying the fund’s investment will be the largest in Jordan in decades and “unlock billions of dollars” for the country.

He said agreements on nuclear power cooperation and uranium extraction are expected to follow.

“We’ve never had an Arab investment fund that has come to commit billions of dollars in investments in leading sectors of the economy in Jordan,” Awadallah told the title.

The coordination council will determine which sectors to invest in and how much is invested. The countries will also cooperate in Jordan’s Southern Aqaba special economic zone.

It will be headed by Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour and meet at least one a month for the next five months to reach an agreement on investments, Awadallah said.

The Jordan deal follows an agreement between Saudi Arabia and Egypt to invest $25bn including the development of a bridge linking the countries and an industrial area near the Suez Canal.

Jordan has been battered by the influx of refugees from neighbouring Syria. The country’s economy is projected to grow about 2.7 per cent this year, down from 3.5 per cent previously forecast, the country’s finance minister Omar Malhas was reported as saying.

“We need major investments in leading sectors of the economy that will create jobs, that will have multiplier effects, that will increase our exports and that will open up our markets,” the special envoy said.