At the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade
7 December 1999
I am very grateful for this opportunity to meet with you, representatives of the dynamic and successful private sector in China. The enterprising spirit of Chinese business leaders, which has accounted for the stunning growth in your economy, and has assured your country of a bright future outlook, is truly admirable.
During the last two years, China has become the element of stability in a sea of regional economic turmoil, thanks to your commitment and courage. In fact, the economic reforms carried out in China over the past ten years are bearing fruit for the Chinese people and are being acknowledged for their success by the international community at large. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the recently concluded agreement with the United States on WTO accession.
In Jordan, we have also committed ourselves to economic reform and liberalisation. Export-oriented growth and the encouragement of private enterprise to invest in key economic sectors have been the pillars of this policy.
We have also achieved remarkable success in making our investment environment one of the best in our region. We have maintained macroeconomic stability and reduced our budget and current account deficits to sustainable levels. We have also revamped laws in order to make them consistent with our globalisation outlook. In the process, we have adopted international criteria for the guarantee of transparency and accountability. As a result of these efforts, foreign direct investment in Jordan has substantially increased.
This trend has been particularly encouraged by the establishment of Qualifying Industrial Zones [QIZs] in a number of regions in Jordan. Products manufactured in these specially designated areas enjoy entry to US markets without being subjected to customs tariffs or to limitations on quantities.
Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of visiting and inaugurating a factory in the Irbid Qualifying Industrial Zone, which is the culmination of a Chinese, Jordanian and Arab joint venture. I am delighted and grateful that our friends, the Chinese and Jordanian pioneering partners of this venture, are with us today to tell you from first hand experience about the available opportunities in Jordan. They can also tell you about our support and commitment to ensure the success of their venture.
I can assure all of you that we grant the same investment-friendly treatment to all those investing in Jordan, as they build their plants, employ our trained and skilled manpower, and reap the financial rewards of their investments.
Apart from the availability of the QIZs, Jordan offers numerous opportunities for investment in tourism, in mining and fertilizers, in information technology and software development, and in specialised services.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I hope that this visit to your beautiful country, and that this meeting will pave the way for partnerships that will see Chinese and Jordanian entrepreneurs joining hands to ensure mutual success. This, at the end of the day, is what cements relations between peoples and between countries.
In conclusion, let me state that your great nation and ancient values and traditions, known to all around the world, have been enriched by the enterprising culture that you brought about in developing your country.
I thank you for your attendance and for your interest, and I welcome you all to visit us in Jordan in the near future.