Aqaba Container Terminal (ACT) CEO Soren Hansen was one of several representatives of international investors in Jordan invited to participate in a meeting with His Majesty King Abdullah II on September 6th to discuss business opportunities and government economic reforms. The King emphasized Jordan’s firm commitment to improve the ease of doing business in the Kingdom, and acknowledged that further reforms are necessary to promote business growth and development.
The International Monetary Fund has projected a growth rate of 3.2% for 2011 for the Jordanian economy, with a 3.9% growth rate forecast for 2012. The importance of strong relationships between the public and private sectors was emphasized by King Abdullah as critical to facilitating sustainable economic development.
“I was quite impressed with the level of concern that His Majesty showed for even the smallest details” said Mr. Hansen; “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” he noted.
The Port of Aqaba, on the Red Sea, is Jordan’s primary access point to international shipping and trade. ACT was established seven years ago as a joint venture between the Aqaba Development Corporation and APM Terminals, and was awarded the port concession in 2006 with the conclusion of a 25-year build-operate and transfer joint development agreement. The multi-purpose facility is managed by APM Terminals. Container throughput has risen by over 16% year-to-date over the 2010 volumes, and ACT has begun construction of a $235 million USD expansion which will include a new quay, doubling the existing length to 1,000 meters, and increasing annual container throughput capacity from 850,000 TEUs to 1.5 million TEUs by completion in 2013. In transit container movements to neighboring 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 TEUs.
“Overall it was a highly constructive meeting”, said Mr. Hansen, adding “I anticipate that with the full involvement of the King, even further improvements in Jordan’s business environment will be forthcoming.”
About Aqaba Container Terminal
The Port of Aqaba, Jordan’s only containerport, is the 2nd–largest container facility on the Red Sea, after Jeddah, (Saudi Arabia) with volume of 619,000 TEUs in 2010. The Aqaba Container Terminal is a joint venture between ADC, the Jordanian Government’s development arm for the Aqaba Special Economic Zone and APM Terminals, which manages the facility. The management contract runs until 2031. A terminal expansion project, including a 460 meter doubling of the quay, will increase annual container throughout capacity to a projected 1.5 million TEUs when fully completed and equipped in 2013.
Source: ACT, September 19, 2011.