Aqaba to house first auto factory in region
Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) and the SIAG Arabian Auto Manufacturing Co. on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding to designate a special estate for automobile manufacturing in Aqaba, including the establishment of an automobile factory at a cost of $447 million in the first phase.
ASEZA Chief Commissioner Nasser Shraideh said that the $477 million is the investment volume of the initial phases of the project, whose investment volume in the first five years will reach some $6 billion, with an average annual auto production of 50,000 vehicles.
Shraideh added that the project, the first of its kind in the region, will provide many jobs in its initial phases, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.
The chief commissioner explained that the free trade agreement between Jordan and the US contributed to attracting such a “megainvestment”, where 70 per cent of its workforce will be local.
He added that ASEZA will cooperate with partners and provide them with all necessary incentives and services to render the project a success.
SIAG Chairman Mosad Abdelhamid Rashed said that the selection of Aqaba to establish the project was based on the proper investment environment in the city.
Rashed also underlined the fact that Jordan is the only Arab country that has free trade agreements with the US and the European Union, which enables vehicles manufactured in the Kingdom to enter these markets.
Initial phases of the project will produce two types of vehicles: an SUV (operating on gasoline and electric) and light-duty pick-ups (both gasoline and diesel).
He added that the factories will be established according to the highest European standards, and vehicles will have special interior and exterior designs and be equipped with prestigious options and up-to-date driving and control technologies.
The chairman noted that targeted markets include the EU, the US, Africa and Arab countries.