ASEZ to be declared in mid-February
The declaration of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone has been postponed until February 15, Jordanian officials said on Thursday.
The Jordanian cabinet's decision to do so on Wednesday evening followed intensive consultations with the ASEZ's board of commissioners and related government branches, notably, the customs department, explained one of the sources.
“We wanted to finalize inventories of already taxed goods at the Aqaba quays and grant merchants a grace period to adapt to the new status,” the source added.
Head of the commissioners board Mohammad Kalaldeh said importers were given a February 10 deadline to tabulate and report their goods, before they order new shipments under the new regulations.
The new set of rules and bylaws, to go into force by mid-February, will govern the flow of goods to and from Jordan's maritime outlet under a seven percent sales tax and a flat five percent income tax.
The sales tax, a major earner for the deficit-saddled Treasury, is set at 13 percent elsewhere throughout the Kingdom.
Kalaldeh urged the existing 70 firms at Aqaba to modify their positions and register within the new mechanism ahead of the launching date.
The chief commissioner stressed that all 18 regulations governing the ASEZ, have been endorsed by the Cabinet. Officials had hoped the ASEZ would be operational by January 31.
The ASEZ, a pioneering project launched by King Abdullah, is designed to attract $6 billion in foreign investment and create 70,000 jobs over the next two decades. — ( Jordan Times )
By Saad G. Hattar
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)