(ANSA) - Aqaba, December 19 - A new shipping line has been launched between Aqaba and Libyan Benghazi to ship cars to Libyan market on vessels carrying the Jordanian flag. It is the first maritime link connecting the countries. "This represents an important step in Aqaba ports' development as we have been looking forward to opening regular shipping lines with north African ports and we are quite pleased to be inaugurating this line," said the Director General of Aqaba Ports Corporation Mohammad Almubaiden. "Although this line will be shipping cars only, it will play a significant role in developing Aqaba as a logistics and services hub for the Libya reconstruction efforts and consequently have a positive influence on Jordan's economy". The shipping line will operate on regular basis at an average rate of one trip every ten days carrying 600 cars each time. Aqaba is taking big steps towards becoming an international investment hub. In a previous interview Kamel Mahadin, Chief Commissioner of Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) noted that: "Aqaba has over $20 billion of committed achievements (in investment), part of which is already on the ground, while the original goal set in 2001 was to attract $6 billion by 2020. "The government has been successful in implementing his majesty's vision and empowering the zone with a flexible decision-making process and streamlined procedures that give Aqaba immunity against bureaucracy". Professor Mahadin gave a briefing on major economic indicators in Aqaba this year and noted that: "Aqaba has received over half a million tourists this year on board 2,057 flights and 97 cruise ships". "Local community students received around 630 scholarships to different universities and colleges in Jordan as part of ASEZA's local community development strategy," he added. "Moreover, Aqaba's main port handled over 12 million tons of cargo while the Aqaba Container Terminal handled, up to end of October 2013, 2,367 vessels with around 652 thousand TEU". Regarding the Aqaba ports development master plan, Mahadin said: "a very ambitious master plan was created to develop Aqaba ports, so far the value of port projects tendered out reached 820 million Jordanian dinar (JOD) and included the Aqaba natural gas terminal, the Aqaba petroleum gas terminal, the Aqaba phosphate terminal, the Aqaba industrial terminal, the Aqaba passenger terminal, the Aqaba container terminal expansion, the Aqaba miscellaneous liquids terminal, the Aqaba cruise ship terminal and the Aqaba New Port".