Press Releases

IFC Supports Regional Development and Peace in the Middle East with Jordan Gateway Project

Ludwina Joseph
Phone:  (201) 473-7700

Fax:  (202) 974-4384


Afshin Molavi

Phone:  (202) 458-5674

Fax:  (202) 974-4384

Washington D.C., June 19, 2001—The International Finance Corporation will help to promote regional development and peace in the Middle East by lending US$10 million to support an industrial estate on the Jordanian side of the Jordan-Israel border.

The $35 million Jordan Gateway Projects Llc.—sponsored by Safra, a global banking and finance group operating in North and South America, Europe, and the Middle East, in partnership with a group of prominent Jordanian businessmen—will develop, construct, and operate a 65-hectare industrial estate.

Jordan Gateway Projects Llc., the first Jordanian-Israeli joint venture of this scale, will help to create about 15,000 skilled and semi-skilled jobs in Jordan; provide for transfer of new technology and improve utilization of the country’s skilled and educated workforce; attract foreign investment and stimulate development of export-oriented industries; and broaden the Jordan River Valley’s economic base.  Overall, it will complement the government’s planned development of the Jordan River Valley.  IFC expects the project to have a significant economic impact in a part of the country that is in urgent need of sustainable development initiatives.

The project is located in the first industrial estate in Jordan which has both Qualifying Industrial Zone status and Free Zone status.  The Qualifying Industrial Zone status will provide companies with quota-free and duty-free access to the U.S. market.  The Free Zone status provides a 12-year tax holiday and other incentives for tenant companies.  The Jordan Gateway industrial estate has a unique border location including a dedicated bridge connecting the Jordanian and Israeli sides of the estate.

IFC’s participation will ensure that the project is implemented according to stringent environmental and social standards of IFC and the World Bank Group.  The project structure and implementation have taken into account the advice of IFC’s Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman as well as the input of various stakeholders with whom IFC has carried out an extensive dialogue over the past year.  These stakeholders include a number of civil society organizations in both Jordan and Israel.

The mission of IFC, part of the World Bank Group, is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries as a way to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives.  IFC finances private sector investments in emerging markets, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.