Jordan, Saudi mull new Aqaba-Jeddah shipping route

Published May 9th, 2016 - 05:00 GMT
Jeddah Port, Saudi Arabia. (Wikipedia)
Jeddah Port, Saudi Arabia. (Wikipedia)

The head of the Jordanian Association of Businessmen, Hamdi Al-Tabbaa, recently announced a new study to develop a shipping route between Jordan and Saudi Arabia using the ports of Jeddah and Aqaba. The link would be similar to the marine project line between Iskenderun in Turkey and Aqaba in Jordan, and would encourage strong commercial exchange between the two countries. Al-Tabbaa noted that on April 18, the association met the Saudi ambassador to Jordan, who reviewed the relationship between the two countries and which resulted in an agreement to hold a joint forum between Saudi and Jordanian businessmen this year to deepen their economic relations across various sectors.

The forum will explore investment opportunities in the two countries and encourage the establishment of a Saudi-Jordanian Business Council. He said that Jordanian businessmen have already been given visas to ease their movement to and from Saudi Arabia, allowing them to monitor their investments and hold meetings with their partners easily.

Al-Tabbaa said the economic relations between the two kingdoms are developing well, adding that Jordan has become a prime attraction for visiting Saudi businessmen because of the positive position of the local economy. For this reason, the country has become an investment model in the area and has attracted investments from all over the world, including from the Gulf countries and Saudi Arabia.

On the other hand, Saudi Arabia is the biggest investor in Jordan, with investments valued at $10 billion in the fields of tourism, hotels, agriculture, hospitals, financial sector, transport and IT. He added that at the Aqaba Special Economic Zone, Saudi investments made up 80 percent of all foreign investments.

Al Tabbaa said that the number of Saudi individual investors in Jordan are estimated at 600 across various sectors. The trade balance between the two countries is in favor of Saudi Arabia with $2.4 billion in Saudi exports to Jordan, which exported $853 million to Saudi Arabia in 2015, according to Al-Watan.


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