* Investment will support creation of up
to 20,000 new jobs
Washington D.C., January 31, 2002—The International Finance Corporation,
the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has agreed to lend up to
US$12.5 million for the first phase of the development of Cybercity, a
world-class integrated industrial park in Irbid, Jordan’s second largest
city. The project will have a far-reaching developmental impact,
creating up to 20,000 skilled and semi-skilled new jobs as well as stimulating
the local economy.
The $55.9 million project, promoted by the Industry and Information Technology
Development Company (IITPD), has been granted the status of “Qualified
Industrial Zone” (QIZ), which provides companies located in the park quota-free
and duty-free access to the U.S. market. In addition, IITPD has been
given a “Special Export Free Zone” status, which provides a 12-year tax
holiday and other incentives for tenant companies. IITPD is owned by Jordan
Industrial and Technology Park Investment Company, a joint venture between
Boscan Middle East Investment Ltd. and Jordan University of Science and
Technology (JUST). With an area of 4 square kilometers, Cybercity
will be the largest operating QIZ in Jordan, and will benefit from the
economies of scale for all services and infrastructure development cost.
Mr. Sami Haddad, Director of IFC’s Middle East and North Africa Department,
noted the positive impact of the industrial estate on the local economy.
“We expect the IITPD industrial zone to boost the local economy
by creating new jobs, attracting foreign investment, and promoting technology
and skills transfer. It will also stimulate a host of complementary
small and medium-sized enterprises that will service tenant companies and
their employees,” Mr. Haddad said.
The investment in IITPD fits in with IFC’s Jordan strategy, which includes
the promotion of export-oriented and foreign-exchange generating investments
as well as support for infrastructure development to encourage private
The proposed project will adhere to the stringent environmental and social
standards of the World Bank Group. The project will include the development
of the estate’s infrastructure (power, water, sewerage), the industrial
estate buildings to be rented or sold, an administrative area, and residential
quarters for workers. The project will initially target light manufacturing
IFC’s mission is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing
countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC
finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes
capital in the international financial markets, and provides technical
assistance and advice to governments and businesses. Since its founding
in 1956, IFC has committed more than $31 billion of its own funds and arranged
$20 billion in syndications for 2,636 companies in 140 developing countries.
IFC's committed portfolio at the end of FY01 was $14.3 billion.