Press Release for Distribution highlighting U.S. Ambassador’s visit to Aqaba

(Aqaba, October 28, 2021) – U.S. Ambassador Henry T. Wooster met on Wednesday and Thursday with local authorities and business leaders in Aqaba to discuss the business and investment climate and hear about ongoing projects. He conveyed U.S. support for new efforts to make Jordan attractive to both local and international investors, which will enable the Jordanian private sector to thrive and create jobs.

“Expanding the private sector is crucial to strengthening the Jordanian economy and providing sustainable jobs for Jordanians,” Ambassador Wooster asserted. He noted, “Aqaba already plays a critical role fostering investment and private sector development in Jordan and can realize even greater potential for private sector development in the future.”

Ambassador Wooster met Aqaba Governor Mohammad al-Rafai’ah and local business leaders to discuss areas of mutual interest including Aqaba’s potential for economic growth. Wooster discussed the business and investment climate in Aqaba with the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) Chief Commissioner Nayef al-Bakhit and with Hussein Safadi, Chief Executive Officer of the Aqaba Development Corporation (ADC), and congratulated them for their success in attracting new projects to the region.

In light of the 20th anniversary of the U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement, Ambassador Wooster encouraged the United States and Jordan to explore ways to expand use of the Agreement, particularly among Jordanian small and medium enterprises. He met with a group of women Aqabawis who are leaders in their work and communities to learn their perspectives on social and economic issues. The Ambassador also spoke with alumni of U.S. government exchange programs representing All Jordan Youth Commission, University of Jordan Aqaba, non-governmental organizations, and the local governing council, about how they are addressing community needs related to women’s participation in the economy, politics, and civil society.

The Ambassador visited the Aqaba Water Company and spoke with water sector personnel and customers regarding new technologies in managing scarce water resources. His visit highlights the success of the Aqaba Water Company’s efforts to reduce water losses and promote water savings, and important model that can be replicated throughout the country.

Ambassador Wooster’s visit to Aqaba follows recent meetings and discussions in Irbid and Zarqa focused on key aspects of the U.S.-Jordan partnership across all of Jordan, including U.S. support for water and economic development, community-based initiatives, and youth empowerment.