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Aqaba stars at Global Trade Development Week

ASEZA chief Mahadin delivers presentation at opening

03 April, 15:55
Aqaba stars at Global Trade Development Week (ANSA) - Kuala Lumpur, April 3 - The Jordanian Red Sea city of Aqaba was the star of Global Trade Development Week, which took place in Kuala Lumpur from March 31 to April 2.

The Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) and its central development arm, the Aqaba development Corporation, sponsored Global Trade Development Week APAC 2014.

Furthermore, ASEZA Chief Commissioner, Professor Kamel Mahadin, delivered a presentation on Aqaba's competitive investment climate, its vision, achievements and the opportunities it offers during the opening ceremony. Aqaba was represented by the chief commissioner and Sharhabeel Madi, the commissioner for investment and economic affairs.

A big success, the event attracted more than 400 participants from over 60 counties.

Mahadin noted that being invited to be a speaker in three sessions highlighted Aqaba's success and showed that it has a lot to offer as a successful economic model.

Mahadin expressed his determination to market Aqaba in the Far East, building on King Abdullah II's recent visits to Singapore, China and Indonesia to promote Jordan and Aqaba as an investment destination.

While the summit was mainly focused on trade and the development of industrial zones, attendees and speakers also deliberated on the importance of special economic zones and the role they play in facilitating international trade, creating jobs and attracting FDI.

Mahadin spoke of great success Aqaba has witnessed in attracting over $20 billion US in investments.

He also spoke of the support Aqaba received from the Jordanian government that allowed it to achieve the king's vision. When Mahadin chaired a session entitled "Attracting, Allocating and Investing In Human Capital to Ensure Sustainable Competitiveness", he stressed Jordan's commitment towards developing and capitalizing on its human resources to meet future demands, noting that education and capacity-building are amongst Aqaba's top priorities.

As a panelist in the session entitled "Moving Towards a Knowledge Based Economy through FDI and Technology Transfer" Mahadin noted that: "developing a knowledge-based economy is the most important engine for economic growth and development in the globalizing world economies.

"In recent years, the Arab nations of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have made significant strides in moving from primarily oil-based economies to laying the foundation for innovative and diversified knowledge-based societies".

The Aqaba delegation visit also featured meetings with different bodies, including Manateq, a newly established government company spearheading the development of Qatari special economic zones, with an aim of providing world-class infrastructure that will facilitate the growth of the private sector.

The meeting involved a high-level delegation from Manateq headed by Fahad Al-Kaabi, the Chief Executive Officer.

Talks focused on developing means of cooperation and exchanges of knowledge and knowhow. Mahadin invited the Qatari delegation to Aqaba. The visit also included a meeting with the Iskandar economic zone authority in Malaysia.

The Iskandar team was headed by CEO Datuk Ibrahim. As both sides agreed on need to develop cooperation they discussed possible means to better facilitate the transportation of Malaysian pilgrims to Mecca.

The parties also discussed establishing liaison offices to increase cooperation.