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Jordan, January 27, 2020
King tours southern region

Several-day tour in line with promoting development, improving living standards

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Sunday started a tour of the southern region, beginning in Aqaba and covering visits to development, agricultural and tourism projects, and meetings with officials and local community representatives.

King Abdullah’s several-day tour is in line with promoting local development and improving citizens’ standard of living, in addition to developing the southern region through supporting the tourism sector, and utilising state-owned land for agricultural and development projects to empower families and provide job opportunities, according to a Royal Court statement.

In Aqaba, the first stop of his tour, His Majesty, accompanied by HRH Crown Prince Hussein, met with the chief commissioner of Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority and members of its board of commissioners, as well as officials from companies affiliated with ASEZA.

During the meeting, attended by Prime Minister Omar Razzaz, the King said he will follow up on projects under way in Aqaba, especially the development of the King Hussein International Airport, which could positively impact tourism and transport, stressing the need to attract investments.

His Majesty cited energy as a challenge to investment projects, noting solutions must be found to reduce energy and electricity costs.

The King also urged tying the ASEZA plan for this year to a timeframe, so that obstacles can be identified and addressed.

His Majesty called for revamping the transport system in Aqaba, which would serve tourism and facilitate university students’ commutes.

For his part, Razzaz said at the meeting that the government will study reducing the cost of energy on the tourism and industrial sectors.

ASEZA Chief Commissioner Nayef Bakhit gave a presentation on the key pillars of the Aqaba masterplan to attract investment, advance tourism and logistical services, develop the city and the region, and enhance employment, training and local community empowerment.

For their part, members of the ASEZA board of commissioners highlighted efforts to conserve the marine ecosystem in Aqaba, promote dive tourism and support entrepreneurial projects.

Royal Hashemite Court Chief Yousef Issawi, Adviser to His Majesty for Communication and Coordination Bisher Al Khasawneh, Adviser to His Majesty for Policies and Media Kamal Al Nasser, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Maj. Gen. Yousef Huneiti attended the meeting.