Jordan - Credit Bloomberg
Upon completion, the railway will operate along a 195 km track, transporting cargo containers to and from Aqaba -- Jordan’s only outlet to the sea as well as phosphate from the mines in Shidiya for export.
Monday 11, February 2019
(Bloomberg) --The Saudi Jordanian Investment Fund and the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority have signed a MoU to establish, develop and manage a railway connecting Aqaba, on the Red Sea, to a future dry port in the Ma’an governorate.
Saudi Arabia is bolstering efforts to shore up the economy of a fellow Arab monarchy with a JOD 500 million ($705 million) joint investment in Jordan.
Similarly, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) -- which is backing Jordan with a $700 million loan said that international donor support is more important than ever for the country following talks between Managing Director Christine Lagarde and Prime Minister Omar Al-Razzaz.
This is Saudi fund’s first major investment in Jordan follows pledges of $2.5 billion from wealthy allies to support the monarchy in the face of large-scale protests last year.
Jordan has for decades relied on aid from the US and oil-rich Gulf nations to prop up its economy, but has struggled after the influx of 1.5 million Iraqi and Syrian refugees further strained the country’s finances.
The Jordan-Saudi fund was formed in 2016 as a partnership between the Saudi Public Investment Fund, which holds a 90 per cent stake, and 16 Jordanian banks that own the rest.