|New free trade law|
* The government is discussing a new draft law to develop the free trade zones in Jordan. According to a statement by the Jordan Free Trade Zones Corp., the new law must regulate the flow of products and regulate investments in these areas. Specific techniques are expected to be endorsed in the new law to organize the relation between the free trade areas and the concerned public institutions to enhance trade in these areas. The new law will also highlight financial and legislative procedures to be clear and efficient to facilitate foreign investments in the Kingdom.
ASEís low in trading
* The Amman Stock Exchange lost JD 5.8 million in non-Jordanian investments last month. ASE statistics show foreign investments make up about 37.5 percent of the marketís overall capitalization. Arab investors make up about 28.2 percent of these investments. Trading at the ASE floor is being subjected to the current political instability in the region. Over the past two weeks, the market made JD 30.5 million in trade volume, its price index lost six points since 23 January, ending the week before Eid Al Adha at 165 points.
Tourism at Dead Sea
* A $10 million panorama project is underway to cover the eastern shore of the sea with the Baptism site, the Maen Spa and other religious and touristic sites in the area. Sources at the Ministry of Tourism indicated the panorama aims to renovate the area and enhance domestic tourism. The current Dead Sea Spa will be demolished to be rebuilt later to conform to the latest international tourism standards.
Pushing tourism in Aqaba
* Jordanís Fun in Sun Investment Co. is working on a JD 68 million touristic project on the southern shore of Aqaba. Building operations at the project starts in April to be completed by mid-2005. The project includes a 260-room hotel, 60 challis, restaurants and huge malls. There will also be entertainment sites and sports facilities. The companyís director-general Hussam Khourshid said the project is part of six projects the company will build in the Aqaba Special Economic Zone in the coming three years at JD 180 million. He noted the new projects innovate tourism in the port city through different ways, by employing desert tourism and marine adventures.
More in Aqaba
* There were 119 development projects in Aqaba last year at JD 40 million. These projects are conducted by the government and aim at enhancing the social and economic development in the city. Only 80 projects were completed last year at JD 10.2 million, while the rest, 39 projects are expected to end this year. Half of the projects targeted the social and services sectors, followed by infrastructure and economic development.
Paving ways in Amman
* The Greater Amman Municipality is allocating JD 4 million this year to renovate roads and pavements for pedestrians. The municipality sources indicated the new roads will give pedestrians more space to walk safely on sideways. The plan includes building more bridges for pedestrians around Amman. Official statistics show most of the deaths in car accidents are pedestrians who didnít use pavements of the streets.