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Royal Hashemite Court (Jordan)

Singapore interested to benefit from Jordan location for investment purposes
Singapore City, 25 February 2014

His Majesty King Abdullah discussed in Singapore on Tuesday with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong bilateral ties, with focus on economic cooperation, and developments in the Middle East peace process and the Syrian crisis.

Highlighting the need for more efforts to further cooperation between the two countries, King Abdullah noted that Jordan’s economy provides a safe and stable financial environment that investors can benefit from, especially in the fields of energy, water, transportation, tourism, services, education and pharmaceuticals.

His Majesty pinpointed the incentives and benefits offered to foreign businessmen, in addition to the Kingdom’s strategic location, which serves as a gateway to regional markets.

Loong said his country is interested in benefiting from Jordan’s location for investments and building on the partnership with the Kingdom, which, he said, poses as a model to follow in the Middle East in its efforts to achieve comprehensive development and its advantage as “an oasis of security and stability.”

On Mideast peace, the King reiterated that establishing an independent and viable Palestinian state within pre-1967 lines with East Jerusalem as its capital, and in line with international legitimacy resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative, is a regional and international concern as well as a higher interest for Jordan.

On Syria, His Majesty reiterated Jordan’s firm stance that advocates a comprehensive political solution to the Syrian crisis that can safeguard the country’s territorial unity and end the suffering of its people.

The King also highlighted Jordan’s increasing burdens as a result of hosting the largest number of Syrian refugees.

The Singaporean prime minister valued His Majesty’s efforts to achieve peace and prosperity in the Middle East, expressing his appreciation for Jordan’s humanitarian assistance to the Syrian refugees.

The meeting was attended by His Royal Highness Prince Ghazi, King’s chief adviser for religious and cultural affairs and personal envoy, Royal Court Chief Fayez Tarawneh, Foreign Minister and Expatriates Affairs Nasser Judeh, His Majesty’s Office Director Imad Fakhoury and Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply Hatem Halawani, among other delegates.

The King also met with a number of political, academic and intellectual leaders at the National University of Singapore Middle East Institute, where the discussion focused on the latest regional developments, especially the situation in Syria and the peace process.

His Majesty stressed the need to support peace efforts, stressing that violence and tension would prevail if peace efforts fail.

The King said that Jordan sees the two-state solution as the only way to end the decades-old Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

His Majesty also highlighted the tremendous burdens on Jordan’s limited resources as a result of hosting hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees, calling on the international community to help the Kingdom carry out such a humanitarian mission. 

During the meeting, the King reviewed the reform steps Jordan has achieved, which started, at the political level, with constitutional amendments aimed at enhancing the principle of separation and balance between the three branches of government, the introduction of new constitutional and regulatory institutions such as the Constitutional Court and the Independent Elections Commission, before parliamentary and municipal elections were successfully carried out.

His Majesty also stressed that the regional challenges would not be taken as an excuse to halt political and economic reforms, noting that the security and stability in Jordan did not come by chance, but rather as a result of the awareness of the Jordanian people and state institutions. The King went over the plans and programmes designed to enhance public participation in the decision-making process and the role of Jordanian women.

The King discussed the challenges that face Jordan, especially economic woes related to the energy sector. Answering a question about the Arab Spring, he said that it motivated Jordan to accelerate reforms.

Participants in the meeting praised the approach Jordan’s leadership adopted in dealing with various challenges that face the region, its efforts to achieve world peace and security, building a better future to the peoples of the Middle East and the Kingdom’s efforts to help the Syrian refugees.

Following his meeting with His Majesty, director of the National University of Singapore Middle East Institute Peter Slugglett expressed readiness to establish academic relationships with Jordanian universities through exchanging scientific research and advanced studies and specialised conferences and workshops.

Slugglett explained that the Institute, which was established in 2007, is considered one of the most prominent academic and research centres in Singapore, providing decision makers, business communities and civil society organisations with specialised studies and advanced analyses.

The King also paid a visit to Singapore’s Civil Service College (CSC), specialised in improving the administrative skills and capabilities of government employees.

During a meeting with the college’s staff, His Majesty expressed his admiration and appreciation of their pivotal role in improving Singapore’s human resources, which reflects positively on the quality of services offered to citizens.

The King expressed Jordan’s willingness to benefit from Singapore’s outstanding expertise in human capital development through cooperation between the college and relevant Jordanian institutions, especially the King Abdullah II Centre for Excellence.

His Majesty underlined that Jordan is working on achieving real reform in the public administration and services sector as part of its comprehensive, “White Revolution” strategy that was initiated to overhaul the public sector and enhance efficiency and improved government services.

His Majesty added that building the capacity of Jordan’s public sector is a must to increase productivity and better serve Jordanians.

Dean and Chief Executive Officer of the CSC Kwek Mean Luck said that His Majesty’s visit to the college and interest in training and rehabilitating human resources is a prelude to fruitful cooperation between the CSC and Jordanian public institutions.

Kamel Mahadin, chief commissioner of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority, who was present at the meeting, also expressed interest in building partnerships with the CSC to improve the Aqaba Centre for Excellence which is tasked with improving leadership and administrative skills.