Covering 170 hectares, PBI Aqaba Industrial Estate hosts a diversity of companies, from metal engineering firms to food producers, that have established themselves in Jordan’s only coastal gateway. The industrial park is now plotting out expansion to accommodate demand from clients near and far. Sheldon Fink, CEO of PBI Aqaba, explains his strategy.
What kind of clients do you host?
We have over 80 signed contracts, with up to 60 in operation. The largest industry here is metals engineering, followed by food production and plastics fabrication. We also have a large logistics center with warehouses and supporting commercial services, such as fueling stations and a bank. PBI Aqaba accommodates a full range of businesses, from a 20-meter office to companies with 50,000-square-meter factories.
What economic impact has PBI Aqaba facilitated?
Job creation per dollar through PBI Aqaba is truly high. This year, we’ll pass $400 million in total investment, creating almost 2,500 jobs. To get 2,500 people working, others projects in Aqaba have spent up to five times as much money. I believe that with our new sites we can employ 5,000 people.
Where do you plan to expand?
We are looking at two additional sites, together measuring about 200 hectares. One is close to the port, and the other is in Qweirah, about 30 kilometers north of PBI Aqaba. The advantage in Qweirah is that the land is cheaper and the revised EU source of origin rule for Jordan-made products applies to Qweirah, but not to Aqaba. We may go with one or both of these sites and will make a decision by September.
What industries do you see in Aqaba’s future?
Our park has facilitated the introduction of new technology to Jordan. For instance, a Chinese company that manufactures LED lighting has chosen PBI Aqaba to produce a patented technology that will mark a big step forward in the LED industry by increasing energy savings from 50 percent to 70 percent. Their presence will give confidence to other consumer electronics manufactures looking at Jordan. It’s a really big move and we expect that high-tech industries will become a growth area for the nation.