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Chinese envoy offers proposals to lure more tourists to Jordan

By JT - Nov 11,2015 - Last updated at Nov 11,2015

Economic and Social Council President Munther Shraa (left) and Chinese Ambassador to Jordan Gao Yusheng attend a session on the future of the Jordanian-Chinese economic cooperation recently (Photo courtesy of ESC)

AMMAN — Chinese Ambassador to Jordan Gao Yusheng has proposed a set of measures Jordanian policy makers can consider to lure larger numbers of tourists from this Asian country into the Kingdom, which he said is rich of historical and tourist attractions.   

The ambassador said Jordan should be reconsidering the cost of visas on Chinese tourists coming to Jordan, increasing the number of Chinese restaurants and securing translators or offering Chinese language courses to tourist guides.

Official Chinese figures show that around 119 million Chinese tourists travelled abroad in 2014; this year, 120 million are expected to make visits outside the country. 

In 2014, only 9,000 tourists came to Jordan from this Asian country, according to Ministry of Tourism figures.

The ambassador, who was speaking at a session on the future of the Jordanian-Chinese economic cooperation organised by the Economic and Social Council (ESC), said the Jordanian-Chinese University is the first joint academic institution China has ever established abroad, Chinese Ambassador to Jordan Gao Yusheng said recently, adding that the deal would never have been reached without the intensive efforts of His Majesty King Abdullah.

In an ESC statement to The Jordan Times, Yusheng was also quoted as saying that the university will begin receiving students at its temporal premises as of the beginning the next academic year until its permanent building is completed in the Jiza region on the airport highway. 

"The university will be established on a 1,000-donum land. Under the agreement, Jordan will offer the land and infrastructure while the cost will be covered by the Chinese government," the ambassador said, adding the facility will focus on technical courses to meet the labour market needs in Jordan and the region.

He also said that China owns 45 per cent of shares in the Jordan Oil Shale Company at a value of $990 million, adding that China has signed agreements worth of $1.6 billion to implement renewable energy projects in Jordan.

Yusheng also said that China will finance 50 per cent of Jordan's nuclear plant which will be implemented by a Russian firm. "Russia was supposed to cover 100 per cent of the total cost of the project under the talks between Jordan, Russia and China. As a result of Russia's current conditions, tri-lateral talks concluded that China bears 50 per cent of the cost."

Yusheng also cited Jordan's security and stability as an added value in attracting Chinese investments, especially under the China Silk Road Route.

The New Silk Road, also known as the “One Belt One Road Initiative” is China’s current foreign policy priority. Beijing has pledged to invest more than $200 billion in Silk Road projects across the globe. This includes road, rails, oil and gas pipelines, ports and other infrastructure projects.

 

For his part, ESC President Munther Shraa said that Jordan's strategic location makes it a logistic route for the international trade, also citing the Kingdom's security and stability in attracting investments.

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