The Aqaba Development Corporation (ADC), the central development body for ASEZA, sponsored the second annual Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Conference for the Middle East and North Africa region held at Le Méridien–Amman on June 22-24. ADC participated as an exhibitor at the conference and took part in discussions on the latest developments in the MENA region.
As part of the conference’s activities, ADC’s CEO H.E. Eng. Imad Fakhoury participated in a session that took place on the second day of the conference discussing “the positive affect of public-private partnerships in the development of the Kingdoms infrastructure” and was headed by H.E. Eng. Sahel Al Majali, Minister of Housing and Public Works. Fakhoury discussed the cooperation between the public and private sectors to implement major projects in Aqaba, saying that these projects will produce considerable results.
Fakhoury said, “ADC functions as a private sector company and has secured a world-class multi-national private sector team to operate it, supported by a world-class consortium of multi-disciplinary firms. Private sector participation in the development and management of ASEZ’s strategic assets will be accelerated by ADC either on a stand-alone basis, through public-private partnerships or other means that optimally leverage ADC and private sector strengths”.
Fakhoury highlighted the Container Terminal project in Aqaba as of the main example of the possible success of PPPs. “ADC has put together a systematic plan for the requirements and prerequisites needed to develop and expand the existing port in the upcoming 30 years. ADC has sectioned the port into separate production units according to international standards, which will simplify the process of privatizing it.”
He said ,”The first step was the launch of an international tender for the management and operation of the container terminal as a free-standing entity, which was incorporated in the general strategy to lift up the whole port’s standards and enforce its competitiveness on a regional level, in parallel with international container terminal standards. This also served as a tool to ending the congestion crisis which had been tolerated in earlier times, and increased the terminal’s capacity of operation.”
He added, “A world renowned bidder won the tender, and is currently executing an extensive re-structuring process in terms of modernizing the terminal’s operations, infrastructure, and the various equipment. Moreover, focus has been exerted on the rehabilitation and training of the terminal workforce, locally and abroad, hiring specialized technical staff, reinforcing safety measures for staff, vessels, and cargo according to international requirements and agreements”.
Fakhoury went on to say that “ADC signed a two-year management agreement with an international company known as AP Muller, in addition to a 25-year development and management agreement with an anticipated total investment of up to $700 million. This resulted in Lloyds List 98 selecting the Aqaba Container Terminal as one of the best 3 terminals in the Middle East and Indian Subcontinent in 2005 and again in 2006”.
ADC offers an attractive environment that brings in investments and big projects to Aqaba, as well as facilitates the process for any potential investors. ADC also plays a major role in several investment projects taking place in the ASEZ.
Since its launch, ADC has initiated numerous investment opportunities and marketed many others through conferences, exhibitions and special events.