Jordan’s Stability ‘Major Attraction’ For Chinese Investments — Ambassador

July 20, 2017

AMMAN — Jordan has a “large” potential to become a hub for starting or relocating Chinese factories, particularly those eyeing branching out to European, US and Arab Gulf markets, Chinese Ambassador to Jordan Pan Weifang said on Tuesday.
Speaking at a session organised by the Talal Abu Ghazaleh Knowledge Forum, the diplomat underlined a wide range of “untapped opportunities” in various fields that can benefit all involved parties if implemented.
He added that Jordan’s safety and security and its “harmonious” social environment   are “major attractions” for Chinese investments both in commodities and technologies, adding that such investments can benefit from the Kingdom’s free trade agreements.
Elaborating on “promising” fields, he said Chinese factories working in the garment sector have been witnessing great success, adding that the  first company located in Jordan to be listed on the New York exchange market later this year is a Chinese garment company. 
These factories produce “quality products for high-end merchandise brands”, he said.
Energy and clean energy are other areas for possible growth of cooperation. 
An Aqaba-based Chinese factory for LED lights, which “save up to 70 per cent of electricity”, has signed agreements with municipalities and has been providing them with power-saving LED lights for street lighting.
Another $1.6 billion Chinese investment in Jordan seeks to extract oil shale in Maan Governorate, 220km south of Amman, to produce electricity.
China is also contributing to the Jordanian nuclear reactor with $5-6 billion to help the Kingdom address its shortage of electricity and possibly export energy, he said. 
The diplomat added that his country is participating in tenders for solar, wind and hydropower renewable energy projects, adding that China can export its expertise in reprocessing waste to produce energy.
“We understand Jordan’s situation,” Weifang said, adding that his country is “sympathetic” towards Jordan as it faces several challenges, particularly the pressure on limited resources after the Syrian conflict and the influx of refugees.
The diplomat said groups of investors pay visits to Jordan every week, adding that the number of Chinese tourists has also increased substantially.
“There is so much to see in Jordan,” he said, adding that some 130 million Chinese citizens travel abroad annually.
To address the rising need for Chinese-speaking tour guides, he said the embassy is interested in addressing this challenge to help cater for more Chinese visitors, noting that Chinese travel businesses have good prospects in Jordan.
Regarding China’s One Belt, One Road Project, a $50 billion land and maritime initiative seeking to connect China to the world, he said this grand project could develop Jordan’s transportation system and build on the 980-kilometre-long railway in the south of the country.
Under this project, China is donating $9 billion to developing countries, he said, adding that governments of two countries are still discussing details of the project.
Weifang underscored Jordan’s ability to function as a hub for reconstruction of Iraq and Syria once the turmoil comes to an end.
Jordan Times
July 20, 2017