Follow the latest in economic news and developments about the Arab transition countries.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) aims to invest up to €800 million next year in key Arab countries hit by political turmoil to help bolster regional stability and spur growth, according to Betsy Nelson, EBRD’s Vice President for Risk. Last month, EBRD set up offices in Tunisia and Jordan. EBRD has recently extended a $100 million loan to finance the construction of a 240 megawatt private power plant near the Jordanian capital. Another $80 million loan was extended to construct a major mall in partnership with Kuwaiti investors and committed €20 million this year to support a Morocco-based Capital North Africa Venture Fund to provide equity financing to SMEs. [Ahram, TR]
Morocco and the US signed a new agreement on Thursday that will make trade between the two countries easier. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and Moroccan Minister of Economy and Finance Mohamed Boussaid signed the trade facilitation agreement, which “represents a forward-leaning, 21st-century agreement on modernizing customs practices,” according to a news release the same day from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). The agreement, which builds on the US-Morocco Free Trade Agreement, includes provisions covering Internet publication, transit, transparency with respect to penalties and other issues that will further boost Morocco’s competitiveness and benefit its trade environment. [Press Release, LNT French]
Qatar has granted Tunisia a $500 million loan to help stabilize its currency, sources said Friday. Interim President Moncef Marzouki secured the loan during a pan-Arab political and economic summit in Qatar. The funds to be deposited in the central bank will help bolster the Tunisian economy and prop up its currency. [ANSAMed]
The government bought fuel worth almost JD 5.4 million for its fleet of cars from gas stations belonging to the Jordan Petroleum Refinery Company (JPRC) during the first nine months of this year, according to JPRC figures. Total Jordan and Manaseer fuel stations also provide the fleet with 90-octane and 95-octane gasoline, and Alaween indicated that fuel expenses of government cars during the first three quarters of 2013 saw a 1 percent drop in terms of value, compared with the JD 5.5 million fuel bill between January and September last year. But in terms of quantity, consumption went down by 17 percent. [Jordan Times]
Also of Interest:
Egypt: Tax employees protest for higher wages | Youm7
New EU support to Egypt for rural development and waste management | ENPI
Tunisia: State budget earns denunciation from economists | African Manager
Tunisia’s government pledges to tackle terrorism and jumpstart the economy | IBT
WFP receives a contribution from India in support of Yemen’s poorest households | SABA
New EU funds for Med development and reforms | ANSMed, LM
Algeria prepares to open bourse to foreign investors | Reuters