Aqaba to prioritise energy and water spending
Jordan governorate aiming to attract UAE and Kuwait investment
The Finance Minister for Aqaba governorate in Jordan has said that the state budget for the next year will prioritise spending on energy, water and development issues, according to the Jordan News Agency. The minister, Suleiman Hafez, speaking during a visit to the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) in the north east of the country, stressed the need to attract investment to the area to help support the local community.
During a meeting with ASEZA Chief Commissioner Kamel Mahadin, the minister outlined the efforts being made to attract more investment from the UAE and Kuwait into the Aqaba economy. At the same meeting, Mahadin also emphasised the importance of cooperation between ASEZA and Jordan’s government to support development efforts in the country.
Aqaba was amongst the sites being mooted for Jordan’s first nuclear reactor, which had been targeting a 2021 date for the commencement of operations of the first unit. The country’s nuclear programme has reportedly stalled somewhat, following security concerns raised by the conflict in neighbouring Syria.
Aqaba is also an important part of the Jordan Red Sea Project, a massive scheme that aims to extract two billion cubic metres of water from the Red Sea each year. Under the proposed scheme, which has a total project value of around US $10 billion, a desalination plant at Aqaba was set to begin work on the first phase during 2013.