The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has been appointed by the Executive Privatisation Committee of the Jordanian government and the operators of the Queen Alia International Terminal to serve as lead advisor in mobilising private sector participation in the airport’s expansion and rehabilitation.
Almost three-quarters of Jordan’s economy is based on the services sector, which in turn is heavily concentrated on tourism. The government intends to develop tourism further by investing in infrastructure and increasing the airport’s capacity.
IFC will support the privatisation process by providing technical assistance and advisory services. The assignment will be divided into two main phases: transaction preparation and implementation. There will be a consultation period between the two phases. It is predicted that the project will take around nine months to complete.
Moh’d Abu Hammour, chairman of the Executive Privatisation Committee, states: “Developing our airport facilities is crucial not only to tourism but also to business travel and to increasing the networks between Jordan and the international commercial community. Private sector participation will help bring the airport up to international standards and provide a solid basis for economic growth. With its focus on private sector development, IFC is ideally placed to advise on the process.”
Jesper Kjaer, general manager of IFC’s technical assistance facility that supports private sector development in the Middle East and North Africa, PEP-MENA, notes that “Jordan already has a strong tourism industry, but it needs investment to improve its infrastructure and compete effectively with other countries in the Middle East and the Gulf region, many of which are also developing themselves as attractive destinations for tourists.”
The Private Enterprise Partnership for the Middle East and North Africa (PEP-MENA ) is IFC’s technical assistance facility that supports private sector development in the region. PEP-MENA focuses on improving the business-enabling and regulatory environment in the region; strengthening the financial sector; promoting the growth of small and medium enterprises and their support services, such as business organisations and consulting firms; helping restructure and privatise state-owned enterprises; and developing viable private sector and public-private partnership projects, especially in infrastructure.