Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour said on Saturday his government attached great importance to small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs), particularly in the governorates and remote areas, as they largely contribute to alleviating poverty and unemployment.
The prime minister made the remarks while presiding over two separate meetings at the prime ministry of the recently-formed higher committee concerned with financing small and medium enterprises and the Governorates Development Fund's board of directors.
Ensour highlighted repeated royal directives to the government to ensure that development gains are fairly distributed to governorates and new jobs are created to achieve sustainable development, leading to enhanced living standards of citizens and improved services to them.
He told the higher committee that the SME sector required a larger organisational effort, calling for drawing up a feasible approach that guarantees a streamlined effort and defines priority projects with timetables to measure progress in achieving development in the Kingdom's governorates. Ensour also stressed the need to continue providing soft and low-interest loans and increase and maximize borrowing by the SMEs.
Minister of Planning and International Cooperation and head of the higher committee, Ibrahim Saif, said the panel, formed by the cabinet several months ago, carries out the task of coordination to secure financing for SMEs from foreign or domestic sources and exploring prospects to create finance purses for this purpose.
The CEO of Jordan Enterprise Development Corporation (JEDCO), Yarub Qudah, gave a briefing on SME financing in Jordan, which, he said, accounts for 97 per cent of overall projects, explaining difficulties regarding access to finance, particularly the absence of guarantees for a loan.
Presiding over the Governorates Development Fund's board of directors meeting, the prime minister said a key focus of His Majesty the King is development and job-creation in remote areas, calling for a qualitative leap in the functions of the Fund to speed up funding for projects so that citizens can feel their impact on their living standards and the quality of their life.