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Aqaba hub chief vows to boost port

$565-mn investment in burgeoning strategic site

Aqaba hub chief vows to boost port

Rome, September 5 - The head of Aqaba's burgeoning enterprise hub vowed Thursday to realise the full potential of the port facilities in the exciting new business area of Jordan's strategic coastal city. Aqaba Special Economic Zone (ASEZA) chief Kamel Mahadin said on the margins of a trade and transport conference: "We are fully committed to developing Aqaba port's community with a total value of 400 million Jordanian dinars ($565 million) as part of our obligation towards the development of the Jordanian economy by empowering the transport and energy sectors". "Aqaba has a unique vision set out by His Majesty King Abdullah II and it is being realized on the ground as we can all see". During a meeting with Transport Minster Lina Shbeeb, Mahadin emphasized the decentralized governance model that Aqaba enjoys which allows for more flexibility and a quick decision-making process which is reflected in the competitiveness of Aqaba's investment climate. During the conference Mahadin said "Aqaba has indeed developed into a central logistics and transport hub in the region. This is attributed to its strategic location, modern multi-model transportation network and competitive investment climate". Minster Shbeeb accompanied Mahadin on a tour of Aqaba's major projects and said she admired all that has been accomplished so far. She stressed the importance of the partnership that exists between the ministry and ASEZA in developing means of enhancing and developing the Jordanian transport sector. Shbeeb was also briefed by Ghassan Ghanem, the chief executive officer of Aqaba Development Corporation (ADC), the central development arm of ASEZA. Ghanem explained the projects ADC has executed or has in the pipeline and highlighted the importance of introducing new port facilities including a terminal for liquid natural gas and liquid petroleum gas. Ghanem highlighted "the strategic importance of this important project for Jordan". The second edition of the Trade and Transport Facilitation conference, which kicked off on Tuesday, provides a unique occasion for government officials, trade specialists and professionals from the public and private sector to brainstorm, share knowledge and discuss best practices in their sectors. The conference is especially focused on the single-window system - a trade facilitation idea that enables international, cross-border traders to submit regulatory documents at a single location and/or single entity. Under the guidance of ASEZA Chief Commissioner Mahadin and with the cooperation of Minister Shbeeb, the event is hosted by ACE, the Aqaba Centre of Excellence, a regional platform for computerized trade-facilitation initiatives in the Middle East and Africa. ACE is the result of cooperation between the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and ASEZA. ACE hosts regional and global conferences gathering representatives from both public and private sectors with the active participation of the Ministry of Transport of Jordan, Jordan Customs and ASEZA.

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