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Gov’t keen to streamline Aqaba port procedures — Hammouri

By JT - Nov 13,2019 - Last updated at Nov 13,2019

AMMAN — The government will take all necessary measures to simplify and accelerate clearance procedures for goods coming into the Kingdom through Aqaba port heading to other countries, especially those to Iraq, said Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply Tareq Hammouri on Wednesday. 

In addition, the minister said, the government will address the reduction of transit trade costs in cooperation with stakeholders from the public and private sectors.  

Hammouri made his remarks while chairing a meeting to discuss transit trade acceleration, adding that Aqaba ports will see a substantial increase in handling and transit trade, due to the features offered by the port and the advanced infrastructure it provides. 

The minister noted that a plan will be prepared to address all remarks by the industrial and commercial sectors, as well as logistic firms, to accelerate procedures and lower costs, according to the Jordan News Agency, Petra.

The official stressed that the advancement of the economy is a responsibility shared by all government entities and the private sector, which calls for increased coordination and cooperation to invite more investments to the Kingdom and increase transit trade.

Hammouri called on logistic services firms in Aqaba to quickly present their remarks and suggestions to the Aqaba Chamber of Trade to put suitable solutions in place, highlighting that Jordan’s location qualifies it as a regional centre for transit trade.

President of the Jordan and Aqaba chambers of trade Senator Nael Kabariti noted that the government is headed towards removing hindrances facing the Jordanian economy, especially those that pertain to transit trade with neighbouring countries.

“Our national duty is to provide our brothers in Iraq with the support necessary to facilitate transit labour, and to remove hindrances that negatively affect the sector,” Kabariti said, noting that decisions have been made to facilitate the flow of goods given the readiness of Jordanian ports and government stakeholders.

For his part, Commissioner of Financial and Administrative Affairs in Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority Mahmoud Khlaifat said that Aqaba is “ready to receive all goods after addressing hindrances faced by transit trade”. He noted that the authority is working with the government on reducing transit fees by 75 per cent. 

 Manager of the Aqaba Company for the Management and Operation of Ports Mansur Quqazeh stressed Aqaba port’s readiness to receive all vessels and goods.

Quqazeh said that the port can hold shipments up to 100,000 tonnes, noting that production rates have increased from 8,000 to 14,000 tonnes a day, with an 80 per cent increase in production capacity.

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