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Donna Thiessen
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USTDA GRANT SUPPORTS NATIONAL SMART CARD FOR JORDAN

AMMAN, JORDAN (September 24, 2008) – Improving the speed and delivery of key Jordanian government services is a goal of a USTDA grant awarded today to Jordan’s Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, acting through the Ministry of Interior (MOI). The grant will fund strategic advisory and technical analysis related to the establishment of a national Smart Card system in Jordan.

The $410,083 grant was conferred in a signing ceremony held at the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation. U.S. Ambassador to Jordan Robert Stephen Beecroft and Her Excellency Suhair Al-Ali, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, signed the grant on behalf of the U.S. and Jordanian governments.

Jordan has prioritized the modernization of its information and communications technology (ICT) sector as a catalyst for the nation's growth. A central component of this strategy is the implementation of a national Smart Card system, which will serve to stimulate electronic transactions throughout the Jordanian government and economy. The USTDA grant awarded today will support this effort by funding technical assistance in implementing the first phase of the system. Phase one will include the creation of a national identity card that will serve as a voting application, a health insurance and drug dispensing card, and an electronic authentication for online government services.

The opportunity to provide the USTDA-funded assistance to the MOI will be competed on the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website at www.fbo.gov. Interested U.S. firms should submit proposals according to the instructions in the FBO announcement. The MOI will select the U.S. firm that will conduct the technical assistance.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, early investment analysis, training, reverse trade missions and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair, open trading environment. USTDA's strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development. In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.

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