Jordan shortlists three foreign companies to develop free trade zone
Jordan has short listed three candidates — a British consortium, a US company and a Greek firm backed by Arab capital — to build and manage the infrastructure of the country's special economic zone in Aqaba, an official said Wednesday, August 1.
The three are Hillwood Strategic Services owned by US billionaire Ross Perot, Consolidated Contractor Co. of Athens and the British consortium, made up by TCI Infrastructure Ltd., Investia and Mersey Docks and Harbours Co., said Akil Baltaji, chairman of the Special Economic Zone of Aqaba (SEZA). Baltaji said the final contract will be awarded at the end of September.
SEZA investment chief Imad Fakhuri, meanwhile, told AFP that the winning candidate will be a strategic partner in Aqaba Inc, which will be set up by SEZA and have initial capital of $150 million.
Fakhuri added that, since the zone was inaugurated in May, the number of companies that have signed up to participate in it has risen from 500 to 630. Of those, 80 percent are engaged in trade, 15 percent in tourism and the balance in industry.
The free trade zone, which offers investors significant breaks on taxes and customs duties, aims to make Aqaba, Jordan's only outlet to the sea, a regional trade centers. Amman is targeting some six billion dollars in investments by 2020. ― (AFP, Amman)
© Agence France Presse 2001
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