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European Commission - Press release

Commission announces support for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and research projects in Jordan

Brussels, 24 November 2011 – The European Commission has adopted today two programmes in Jordan, which will provide support to Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs), as well as to research projects, helping to generate economic growth and employment in the country.

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, commented: ''Today's decision highlights the priority that the EU gives to crucial areas like research and technology in Jordan. I'm proud that our assistance will also support Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and therewith help to reduce poverty and unemployment in the country. By providing easier access to financing, we are helping to remove barriers for creating new jobs. This assistance package shows clearly that we do continue to support Jordan's ongoing reform agenda programme, not only politically but also financially."

Concerning Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, the objective of the programme is to reinforce and expand the modernisation of the service sector by supporting micro-enterprises and female entrepreneurs in Jordan, tackling poverty and unemployment at the same time, by strengthening those SMEs located in deprived areas.

The research project aims to expand the contribution of Jordan’s Research and Technological Development and Innovation sectors to the country's economic growth and employment, by increasing the level of applied research, registered patents and by strengthening the links between the European Union and Jordanian research.

More follows

Details on the programme:

This assistance package is an overall allocation of €20M and focuses on two priority areas: Small and Medium Enterprises and Research. In these areas; the following programmes will be implemented:

Jordan Services Modernisation Programme (JSMP II) (€15 million)

Through continued enhancement of the services sector in Jordan, this programme will assist the economy in becoming more productive and globally connected, by upgrading and facilitating the establishment of innovative start-ups and the service sector, with particular focus on those outside the Amman governorate.

It will also help to increase development of the international export sector, with particular focus on those businesses outside the capital.

Support to Research, Technological Development and innovation in Jordan (SRTD) (€5 million)

The overall objective of this project is to increase the capacity of Jordan’s Research & Technological Development and Innovation sectors in order to foster Jordan’s economic growth and employment. The development of Jordan’s applied research and technological capacity will focus on the commercialisation of research and technological development of the private sector, especially targeting Small and Medium-sized Enterprises. This will also further advance the integration of Jordan into the European Research Area.

In line with the two recent Joint Communications of the European Commission and of the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy ("A partnership for democracy and shared prosperity with the Southern Mediterranean"1 and "A new response to a changing Neighbourhood"2), today's package constitutes part of the National Indicative Programme 2011-2013 for Jordan, under which assistance for an amount of €223 million will be provided.

For more information

EU-Jordan relations:

http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/where/neighbourhood/country-cooperation/jordan/jordan_en.htm

On the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP):

http://ec.europa.eu/world/enp/index_en.htm

Contacts :

Peter Stano (+32 2 295 74 84)

Anca Paduraru (+32 2 296 64 30)

1 :

COM(2011)200 of 8 March 2011. http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/where/neighbourhood/documents/communication_conjointe_mars_2011_en.pdf

2 :

COM(2011)303 of 25 May 2011. http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/where/neighbourhood/documents/communication_conjointe_mai_2011_en.pdf


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