AMMAN –– A Korean company that has proposed establishing a $2 billion medical facility in Jordan was found to have provided inaccurate data about its capacity.
A background check carried out by the Jordan Investment Board (JIB) found that the applicant’s financial position does not allow the company to implement such a large-scale venture, according to JIB acting CEO Awni Rushoud.
He told The Jordan Times in a recent interview that the Korean investor, who visited the Kingdom few months ago and met with senior government officials, proposed to establish an integrated medical city at a cost of JD1.4 billion ($2 billion).
After checking the authenticity of the company in cooperation with Korean authorities and the Jordanian embassy in Seoul, the JIB found that the net worth of the firm is limited to around $3 million only, Rushoud said, adding that the firm also claimed it had major investments in China, but no projects were found.
Korean Ambassador to Jordan Shin Hyun-Suk told The Jordan Times on Monday that he learned about the investor and the proposed mega-project from the Jordanian media, adding that the norm is that reputable Korean investors and companies usually contact the embassy in Amman whenever they plan to visit to explore business opportunities.
“Investors usually coordinate their visits and meetings with officials with the embassy,” the ambassador emphasised. The potential investor, the diplomat said, sent an e-mail to the embassy after he went back home following his talks in Jordan.
Azmi Hadidi, head of the licensing department at the Ministry of Health, told The Jordan Times that the department had granted the company an initial approval to carry out the project. But the investment company never got back to the ministry and the entire proposal was put on hold.
In December last year, Industry and Trade Minister Sami Gammoh briefed the Lower House Financial and Economic Committee on the Korean investor’s plans, urging the House to speed up finalising laws governing investments in the country.
Gammoh told a local newspaper later that the proposed medical complex, which was also to include a five-star hotel, would create dozens of employment opportunities for Jordanians.
The Jordan Times tried to contact the minister several times on Monday but he was not available.
Industry and Trade Ministry Secretary General Maha Ali declined to comment on the issue, which, she said, is the concern of the JIB.