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Royal Hashemite Court (Jordan)

King Abdullah II holds talks with Japanese officials
Amman, 1 July 2002

His Majesty King Abdullah II's talks with Japanese officials and representatives of firms Monday focused on mechanism of activating economic cooperation between Jordan and Japan, and urging Japanese firms to invest in Jordan and be informed on the investment opportunities Jordanian economy affords for foreign investors.

During his meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Foreign Minster Yoriko Kawagushi, King Abdullah II expressed Jordan's thanks to the Japanese government on the aid and support it offered to development projects in Jordan which reached $ 400 m. during the past three years.

During the meeting, His Majesty stressed Jordan's interest in increasing economic cooperation between the two countries, particularly in the field of trade and investment exchange and activating cooperation between the two countries' private sectors.

His Majesty discussed also Jordan's debts to Japan, estimated about half a billion dollar. He pointed out that Japan's assistance of debts reschedule will contribute to supporting economic and social reform programs, cover budget's deficit poverty and unemployment alleviation and promote investment opportunities.

The Japanese government announced a $ 17 m. grant to Jordan to support economic reform program. It will offer also $ 18,6 to improve Zarqa water.

On the political side, His Majesty stressed the necessity to intensify international efforts, including Japanese, to move quickly in order to defuse tension in the region due to the continued violence and military escalation.

His Majesty pointed out to the initiatives currently presented for ending the Arab Israeli conflict, particularly the Arab peace initiative which embodied an Arab vision to achieve comprehensive and just peace in the Middle East.

His Majesty's meetings with Japanese Prime Minister and Foreign Minister touched on President Bush's speech, where King Abdullah II affirmed the necessity to build on what the speech contained to solve the Palestinian issue and fulfillment of Palestinians' aspirations of statehood in accordance with the Security Council's resolutions 242 and 338.

The King's meetings in the second day of his visit to Japan included intensive meetings with government establishments interested in offering external grants, where His Majesty met with Directors of JICA, Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Japan Organization for External Trade, and discussed with them means of cooperation with Jordan in the fields of tourism, education, information technology, and water and irrigation and environment projects.

Directors of the establishments stressed their keenness on continuing cooperation with Jordan. They hailed the development Jordan has achieved during the past years. They pointed out to the interest in increasing Jordan's exports volume to Japan, $ 14 m. compared by $ 170 m. Japanese exports to Jordan.

During his meeting with representatives of Japanese firms, King Abdullah II explained the numerous aspects Jordan affords to investors . He affirmed that many things have been changed in Jordan since 1999 when he met them in his first visit to Japan. Many investment promoting legislation and laws have been amended, he pointed out.

His Majesty touched on the accomplishments achieved due to free trade agreements. His Majesty urged for increasing cooperation between the private sectors of the two countries. He stressed that the Jordanian government will offer all facilities to Japanese investors to ensure success of their investments.

In order to promote this tendency, His Majesty was accompanied in this visit by a private sector delegation to meet with their Japanese counterparts and discuss potentials of opening new markets for Jordanian products and attraction of new Japanese investments to Jordan.

Minister of Industry and Trade Salah Al-Basheer, and Director of Investment Promotion Board Reem Badran briefed representatives of Japanese firms on investment in Jordan, where they explained prospects of investment opportunities in the fields of infrastructure, gas, transportation, Aqaba development, mining, Dead Sea salt and tourism.

Dr. Basheer said that financial and currency stability, and liberalization of external trade, as well as success in forging out free trade agreements with USA, Europe and Arab countries are key factors in the strength of Jordan's economy.

He stressed that Jordan has built a real partnership between private and public sectors.