Nasser Shraideh

Nasser Shraideh

Chief commissioner of Aqaba SEZ Authority

Economy / Jordan

“Duty-free access to 1.6 billion consumers”

Jordan’s only coastal city, Aqaba is destined to become symbolic of the country’s emergence as a regional leader. Nasser Shraideh, Chief Commissioner of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority, tells us more.

Why is Aqaba a strategic destination for trade?
While 50% of investments go to tourism, Aqaba is rapidly reclaiming its historical role as a transport and logistics centre. Today, we have duty-free access to 1.6 billion consumers through Jordan’s numerous FTAs, including simplified rules of origin for exports to the EU. As the country’s only seaport, Aqaba handles 78% of Jordan’s exports and 65% of its imports, making it economically vital.

How has Aqaba readied itself to handle increased trade activity?
Our ports have been recognized by the World Bank for improving Jordan’s Doing Business ranking. Today, we have grown, offering two industrial estates in Aqaba, three industrial zones in Qweirah, a labour village and a strong portfolio of transport infrastructure.

What momentum is currently driving industry in Aqaba?
Jordan’s FTAs have helped attract interest from Chinese investors in the LED industry. Also, our lighting industry potential has gathered interest from India and Turkey. It’s a signal that we are moving in the right direction.