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Planning minister presents Jordan’s investment profile at int’l forum

By JT - Jun 22,2015 - Last updated at Jun 22,2015

AMMAN — Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Imad Fakhoury took part in the International Economic Forum in St Petersburg, which Russia hosted earlier this month.

The minister met with a number of high-ranking Russian officials and delegations to the gathering, including representatives from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt, a ministry statement said. 

He also attended a discussion session on relations between Russia and the Middle East, where he emphasised the deep ties and historic partnership between Jordan and the Russian Federation.

Fakhoury said that Jordan, under the leadership of His Majesty King Abdullah, is a model country that has managed to build, promote and maintain exemplary relations with the West, East and the rest of the world. 

These ties, he said, are based on openness, moderation, mutual respect and justice, as well as support for peacemaking efforts, combatting extremism and terrorism, enhancing interfaith dialogue, building a better future and boosting the security and safety of the region and the world.

He stressed that Jordan's partners can rely on its resilience and being an “oasis of security and stability and an economic and investment gateway at the regional level”.

The minister outlined Jordan's recently unveiled 10-year roadmap, the Jordan 2025 blueprint, which focused on 10 competitive economic clusters: construction and engineering services, transportation and logistics, health and biomedical science, tourism, digital economy, information technology and business services, financial services, education, energy and renewable energy, and agriculture and agri-food. These altogether, he said, will make Jordan a commercial, economic, logistical and services gateway at the regional level via free trade agreements Jordan enjoys with markets of up to a billion consumers.

Fakhoury also briefed participants in the St Petersburg forum about investment opportunities worth over $20 billion that Jordan had launched at the World Economic Forum at the Dead Sea in May, in the energy and renewable energy, public transportation, water, tourism and urban development sectors. 

The bulk of these opportunities, he said, concentrate in infrastructure based on public-private partnerships that constitute key opportunities for Arab investment, particularly from the Gulf, and also international partnerships, including Russia.

The minister said Jordan had largely updated key economic legislation according to world-class practices, including the Investment Law, Public-Private Partnership Law, Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Law, Income Tax Law, Electronic Transactions Law and Customs and Immovable Property Law to bolster the economic and investment environment. 

In addition, he said, the Kingdom has finalised the Anti-Corruption Commission Law, Illicit Gains Law and legislation governing the work of the Integrity Commission and the ombudsman to promote transparency, integrity and good governance. 

Added to these, he said, are the Political Parties Law, the draft decentralisation law and the municipal elections bill, which are on Parliament’s agenda, and whose passage will enhance the state’s ability to enhance local development, engage citizens in the decision-making process and ensure people’s representation in national, platform-based political parties. Success in these efforts, the minister said, will ultimately bolster the national development agenda based on political participation and effective partnership.

The minister stressed the importance of Russian-Jordanian cooperation in the areas of nuclear energy and food security projects, as well as the need to promote Russian tourism to Jordan, particularly to the Dead Sea, the Baptism Site and Petra.

Fakhoury also pointed out the need to seize investment opportunities through launching joint ventures in uranium, shale oil, fertilisers and mining sectors in Jordan as well as joint agricultural enterprises to foster the country’s food security besides Jordanian farm exports to Russia through the joint Russian-Jordanian Company.

Fakhoury also met the chairman of the Russian-Arab Business Council, Vladimir Evtushenkov, and stressed the need for a business delegation from the council to visit Jordan for a first-hand look at investment prospects in the Kingdom. The two sides agreed in principle on the possibility of arranging such a trip in the fourth quarter of this year, when the Joint Higher Russian-Jordanian Committee will convene.

The planning minister also met Russia’s Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov and discussed areas of economic cooperation as well as the importance of holding the Joint Higher Russian-Jordanian Committee meeting. Fakhoury praised Russian preparations for the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, and the Russian minister also thanked Jordan for its effective participation. The two sides agreed to follow up on the discussion ahead of the higher committee meeting later this year.

Fakhoury also met the CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund Kirill Dmitriev to discuss future cooperation.

 

The International Economic Forum, which was held for the 19th time, drew participants from over 100 world nations.

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