Emphasising the importance of strong relationships between the public and private sectors as critical to facilitating sustainable economic development, the King confirmed Jordan’s commitment to improve and ease doing business in the Kingdom, acknowledging that further reforms are necessary to promote business growth and development.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected a growth rate of 3.2% for 2011 for the Jordanian economy, with a 3.9% growth rate forecast for 2012.
The Port of Aqaba, on the Red Sea, is Jordan’s primary access point to international shipping and trade, where ACT was established seven years ago as a joint venture between the Aqaba Development Corporation and APM Terminals (APMT).
Managed by AMPT, the multi-purpose facility port concession was awarded in 2006 with the conclusion of a 25-year build-operate and transfer joint development agreement. Container throughput has risen by over 16% year-to-date over the 2010 volumes and ACT has begun construction of a US$235m expansion, which will include a new quay, doubling the existing length to 1,000 metres. It will increase the annual container throughput capacity from 850,000 teu to 1.5m teu by completion in 2013.
Transit container movements to neighbouring countries and Iraq in particular, have increased significantly adding to the port’s growing importance in the region. Container throughput in 2010 was 606,000 teu.
“I was quite impressed with the level of concern that His Majesty showed for even the smallest details. I was able to present my views on a number of issues, from simplifying procedures to increasing investments in the port from select private operators,” said Hansen.
“Overall it was a highly constructive meeting and I anticipate that with the full involvement of the King, even further improvements in Jordan’s business environment will be forthcoming,” he added.