Friday, 23 July 2021 06:05 GMT

Gov't to embark on major projects, mainly railway — PM

(MENAFN - Jordan Times) AMMAN — Prime Minister Bisher and Minister of Defence Al Khasawneh on Thursday said that the government is about to announce the launch of major projects, mainly in the railway sector, and several sides have expressed their interest in such schemes.

During a visit to the King Hussein Bin Talal Development Zone in Mafraq and meeting with several investors and officials at the zone, Khasawneh stressed that the government seeks to remove obstacles and facilitate investment procedures, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The prime minister said that the Kingdom is waiting the launch of several major projects, including a railway link between Aqaba and Madouneh, as part of a logistic system that also includes the zone, which is a strategic hub located between four neighbouring countries.

The premier noted that the railway link project is about to start, and the government has made contacts with sides that showed interest in the first phase of the project, which is expected to extend regionally.

In this regard, he said that the government will finalise necessary measures to embark on this vital project and connect it with the broader infrastructure, including the zone that His Majesty King Abdullah has recently visited.

Khasawneh referred to several bureaucratic obstacles, highlighting the importance of enhancing competitiveness, especially that many regional countries have privileges related to lower power costs and bigger markets due to large investment volumes.

With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jordan faced an additional burden that increased the already high unemployment rates, affecting economic sectors that either continue working at the minimal level or closed to maintain a stable epidemiological situation, the premier said.

He also pledged the government's commitment to partnership with the private sector to move ahead with an economic recovery programme for the post-pandemic period, improve the economic conditions and achieve the envisioned economic reforms.

The prime minister also said that the government is aware of the magnitude of challenges facing Mafraq due to the Syrian refugee crisis, noting that the Kingdom has always been 'a safe haven for 'brothers, which has placed several hardships and challenges on the country'.

Khasawneh said that amendments to the Investment Law would realise legislative stability and cut red tape for investors, expressing hope that the new law would contribute to realising 'a qualitative leap and revolution in the investment field', Petra reported.

Meanwhile, Salem Khazaleh, chairman of the board of the directors of the zone, said that the investment volume in the zone has reached some JD250 million, in addition to another JD150 million for solar energy projects.

For his part, CEO of Al Daman for Development Zones Company Luay Sarairah said that the zone, whose total area comprises 21 square kilometres, is located along a network of highways connecting Jordan with Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

He noted that the zone has a total of 1,300 workers, 70 per cent of whom are from Mafraq, expecting the total number after the completion of under-construction projects to reach 1,700.


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