Land Rover will set up a factory in southern Jordan in April to assemble cars from parts imported from Britain, creating up to 1,000 jobs, company officials said in a statement published Sunday, February 18.
"Preliminary steps for the project will be taken in April ... and the production of the first Land Rover car is expected in February 2002," the statement published in the press said.
Land Rover and its Jordanian partners, the Shahin Group, decided to open the plant in the impoverished governorate of Maan "to contribute to developing the southern parts of the Kingdom," it said.
The project is expected to create up to 1,000 jobs and coincides with the launching of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone (ASEZ) in the southern Red Sea port of Aqaba — Jordan's only outlet to the sea.
Land Rover said in a statement in London in October that more than 5,000 vehicles will be assembled in the Jordanian factory each year, including the Defender model using parts shipped from Britain.
The plant will also produce the luxury four-wheel drive Freelander and Discovery cars, the statement published Sunday said.
The Shahin Group has said that 35 million dinars ($50 million) would be injected into the first phase of the scheme, which it hopes will encourage other investors to establish industrial ventures in southern Jordan.
The ASEZ is a low-tax zone through which Jordan hopes to attract six billion dollars in investments from tourism, information technology firms, industry, commerce and services. The government hopes the zone will bring 70,000 jobs and double per capital income by 2020. — (AFP, Amman)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )