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Aqaba Special Economic Zone (ASEZ)

Location Readiness for Business Opportunity
Strategic Location on the cross road of three continents and four countries.

375 km2 in the south of Jordan

 27 km of Shoreline

Shares boarders with Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

A regional power hub with reliable electrical systems, cutting edge technology, a natural gas pipeline originating in Egypt, and the first privatized water company. Aqaba is a multi-modal transportation hub, linking businesses and visitors to the rest of the world via road, sea and air.

Special tax exemptions

Tourism
Heavy Industry
Light Industry
Services
Commercial
Logistics / Warehouses
Transportation
Education
Health / Environment

 

About ASEZ
The Aqaba Special Economic Zone (ASEZ) was launched in 2001 as a duty-free, low tax multi-sectoral development zone encompassing the entire Jordanian coastline (27 km), the seaports of Jordan, an international airport and the historical city of Aqaba. ASEZ is regulated by the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) is charged with managing, regulating, and providing municipal services within ASEZ.

The Aqaba Special Economic Zone (ASEZ) is a private sector-driven development initiative that maximizes private sector participation in a duty free, tax-advantaged, and flexible regulatory operations environment providing a model approach to environmentally sustainable development and governance, a unique tourist destination on the Red Sea with a duty free shopping oasis accompanied with a high quality of life.

According to the strategic plan 2001-2020, the zone targets 50% of investments in the tourism industry, 30% in a variety of services, 13% in heavy industry, and finally 7% in light industry.

In the search to exhilarate development in the zone and separate the regulatory role from the development role, ASEZA and the government of Jordan have established the Aqaba Development Corporation (ADC), a central development arm in the ASEZ mandated to implement the ASEZ master plan and develop the infrastructure and the superstructure. ADC was established in 2004 as a private shareholding company to drive development of the ASEZ. ADC is mandated to develop the ASEZ into a leading business and leisure hub on the Red Sea consistent with the ASEZ Master Plan. ADC owns the port, airport, significant parcels of land and certain utilities and retains development and management rights for other projects. Although empowered to directly develop projects, ADC typically partners with the private sector to realize key development priorities to the highest standards of international best practices on a sustainable, mutually rewarding basis.

Incentives offers in ASEZ

  • A flat 5% income tax on the net profit Exemption from annual land and building taxes on utilized property. 
  • Exemption from taxes on distributed dividends and profits. 
  • Duty-free import of goods in commercial quantities from the National Customs Territory and overseas.
  • No foreign equity restrictions on investments
  • No foreign currency restrictions. 
  • Full repatriation of profits and capital. 
  • Streamlined labor and immigration procedures 
  • 100% foreign ownership 
  • Up to 70% foreign labor. 
  • Availability of land for lease or sale. 
  • Full guarantees on rights and ownership.

Tourism Investments in Aqaba

Aqaba possesses several of the key factors that make it an attractive location for tourism investment, including low land and construction costs, an international airport and a seaport. But Aqaba's unique tourist advantage lies in its cultural, historical and seaside attractions.

The following is a list of possible project concepts:

  • Three, four and five stars hotels and resorts 
  • Timeshare condominiums
  • Theme and leisure parks
  • Golf courses, marinas and cruises 
  • Duty-free shopping malls and Souqs 
  • Retirement villages 
  • Exhibitions and convention centers

Services in Aqaba

The following is a list of possible investment areas.

Location-Based Services

  • Cargo handling 
  • Aircraft overhaul & conversions 
  • Equipment storage & auctions 
  • Freight forwarding & integrated logistics 
  • Warehousing, cold storage & transshipment

Professional Services

  • Information Technology: software development, data conversion, remote processing, CAD/GIS digitizing, medical transcription 
  • Call centers & claims processing 
  • Medical centers for long-term recovery & rehabilitation 
  • Conversion & repair of small vessels 
  • Printing and publishing: Arabic translation & offshore English production 
  • Internet Service Providers 
  • Engineering consulting

Infrastructure & Land Development

  • Real Estate development: industrial parks, technology parks, warehousing parks, business incubators, & residential complexes 
  • Independent power providers 
  • Water desalination

Privatization Opportunities

  • Municipal services
  • Selected port & airport operations

Industry

Aqaba possesses several advantages important to the manufacturing industry, including availability of low-cost land and buildings, skilled and trainable labor, transportation infrastructure, and a stable microeconomics policy framework.
Moreover, producers may be interested in exploiting the benefits of the QIZ program and the duty-free access to imported input materials, not to mention Jordan's free trade agreements with US, EU and several Arab countries.

The following is a list of possible investment areas.

Fertilizer Chemical Cluster

The existing industries in the South Zone are almost entirely involved in the fertilizer business; representing an investment in excess of $1 Billion. As an established operation, the fertilizer complex can act as a magnet for other associated industries, upstream & downstream, all interested in benefiting from the proximity of a potential customer for their product, or sources of raw material for their own operations. The remaining non-fertilizer related industries and facilities include a diverse selection such as the Red Sea Timber Factory, Aqaba thermal Power Station, East Gas Co., and many more, representing a substantial investment by the private and public sectors. Therefore, great care must be taken to preserve the value of these investments, and provide them with room for expansion where necessary; such expansions representing great viable investment opportunities. Also, due to the availability of raw materials and a competitive workforce in Aqaba, and due to the new legislation encouraging investment in Jordan, a study showed that some new Downstream Industries, for example, chemical industries, are very viable due to their relation with the existing main industries, and that between the new industries themselves. More industries, whether connected in some way to the existing fertilizer complex and the new Downstream Industries or not, would be attracted to the South Zone in the long term, even if the aforementioned factors are ignored, because of:

  • Available land 
  • Access to marine transport 
  • An educated workforce, and liberalized foreign labor policies 
  • Political stability 
  • Developed service and transport infrastructure 
  • Access to markets (local, regional, and international through a set of trade agreements). 
  • Electronics and electrical appliances 
  • Engineering workshops 
  • Pharmaceuticals 
  • Automotive assembly 
  • Textiles and garments 
  • Food related industries

South Industrial Zone

ADC intends to designate the entire South Zone, independent of the seaport, as an Industrial Estate. The ‘Southern Industrial Zone’ (SIZ) is one of the principal investment opportunities within ASEZ, and will be located on 12 km2 of vacant readily developable land, which surrounds the already existing heavily industrial district. It will also be directly adjacent to the site of the new Aqaba seaport which is due to be fully constructed in the coming 5 to 7 years, whereas already present are the marine terminals for import and export of dry and liquid bulk commodities. The development concept for the SIZ rotates around building an industrial area that provides for the expansion and improvement of existing industries in an orderly manner, which will facilitate the start of other novel related industries, creating a highly competitive world-class industrial park to enable the possibility of creating entirely unrelated NEW industries.

ADC will be seeking a technically and financially qualified Joint Venture (JV) partners for development, marketing, and management of the SIZ, on a landlord basis. ADC will be also looking for partners in the different business concepts that would be built around this opportunity, ranging from railways, to a technical-industrial college, in addition to an environment research institute

Contact Details

AQABA SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE (ASEZ)
Tel: + 962 3 209 1000
Fax: + 962 3 2030912 
www.aqabazone.com



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