Agreements signed to link food sector SMEs to investment funds

Lenore Staats

AMMAN — The Jordan Enterprise Development Corporation (JEDCO) has signed three memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with investment banking services companies to qualify potential industrial companies operating in the food processing sector and subsequently connect them with a number of investment funds, based on the recommendations of the food manufacturing committee. […]

AMMAN — The Jordan Enterprise Development Corporation (JEDCO) has signed three memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with investment banking services companies to qualify potential industrial companies operating in the food processing sector and subsequently connect them with a number of investment funds, based on the recommendations of the food manufacturing committee.

The MoUs were signed in the presence of Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply, and JEDCO Chairman Tareq Hamouri and Chairman of the committee and the Jordan Industrial Estates Company Luay Sahwil, and representatives of the industrial sector and directors of investment banking services companies, according to a JEDCO statement.

Hamouri, said that this step came in response to the recommendations made by the food manufacturing committee formed by the government, as the committee indicated that there are about 21 “promising” investment opportunities in the sector divided between new investments and expansion of operations through entering into strategic partnerships with existing food industrial companies.

He added that nontraditional financial and technical support will be provided in the form of capital contributions and forming strategic partnerships for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) working in the food sector by linking them with investment funds to support their growth as long as this sector has an active presence and a tangible impact in Jordan.

Hamouri indicated that these SMEs will be linked with a number of investment funds operating in Jordan, whether local or regional, to stimulate the investment process.

JEDCO will increase their awareness of nontraditional financing mechanisms and tools and the appropriate technical support means and attract investments to meet their funding needs, especially in the current economic situation resulting from the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, he added.

Sahwil indicated that the committee was formed by Royal directives in mid-April, along with other committees to develop and expand the local production of food and pharmaceutical and medical supplies, ensuring the continuity and sustainability of production.

Sahwil added that the committee’s tasks were to develop a strategy for the sustainability of the food manufacturing industrial sector in the short, medium and long terms, increase opportunities for productivity growth and exports, and to form local and external partnerships for this sector during the circumstances of the emerging coronavirus crisis, in addition to defining the roadmap and set the required strategy for the sector to achieve food security in Jordan.

JEDCO’s CEO Bashar Al Zu’bi, said that JEDCO as the executive arm to some of the recommendations of the committee, has initially prepared a comprehensive study of the projects operating within the food processing sector to determine their needs and the possibility of providing financial and non-financial support, as these non-traditional financial tools were designed based on current market trends.

Accordingly, lists of eligible potential projects will be prepared according to specific criteria to be linked through investment banking services companies with some investment funds and a plan will be developed for the mechanism of work and coordination between JEDCO and these funds.

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