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Jordan is a very ideal country for Korea to increase economic cooperationInterview with Ambassador Adel Adailhe of Jordan in Seoul

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is considered one of the top producing countries of phosphate in the world and the second largest producer of potash. This was disclosed by Ambassador Adel Adaileh of Jordon in Seoul at a recent interview with The Korea Post media, publisher of three English and two Korean-language news publications for the past 31 years. Excerpts from the interview follow:

Question:What are your competitive field of industry and products attractive to Korea and what are Korean products and services that your country might wish to import
Answer: Jordan also has large oilshale, metallic minerals such as copper, manganese, other nonmetallic resources and radioactive elements such as uranium and zirconium reserves in the world. Jordan needs affordable energy supply for the economic growth because 96% of the country’s energy needs are coming from neighboring Arab countries. The rising costs of the fuel and electricity burdens Jordan’s economy. Therefore, the Kingdom seeks for new energy resources to extend its capacity and needs by searching for more investments and foresight in this respect. K-wave or Hallyu effect raise the interest in beauty and hygiene related cosmetic products. Jordan’s beauty market is steadily growing 3 consecutive years since 2013. In this respect, the Korean cosmetic products in Jordanian local market will bring the positive market growth.

President Park Geun-hye (left) receives a letter of credentials from newly accredited AmbassadorAdel Adaileh of Jordan in Seoul

Q: What are the important developments scheduled between Korea and your country, including the possible visit of your Head of Government to Korea.
A: Jordan is considered as one of the first countries to establish the diplomatic ties with the Republic of Korea, both countries have grown trust and friendship for more than half a century, hence, in 2015 His Majesty the King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein paid an fifth official visit to Korea to discuss bilateral relation, particularly, on trade, investment, and cooperation in various sectors, including construction, energy, defense industry, culture, education and development.The officials from both countries will continued to follow up what His Majesty the King has established in his Royal visit to Korea.
Korean companies are actively participating in Jordan’s vital infrastructure projects, such as the nuclear research reactor and the south Amman wastewater treatment projects. Both projects are partially funded by Korean government’s soft loans.
Jordan recently announced a plan to increase its reliance on renewable energy to 11% of its annual need by 2025 and Jordan and Korea are cooperating in this particular field.A Korean built modern power plant in Jordan is currently in full operation. Another power plant is still underway, but these two power plants expectto produce 946 megawatts (MW).
Many Korean companies are showing a great interest in participating in oil, oil shale explorations and renewable energy projects. In this respect,both Jordan and Korea have worked to open two big thermal power plants.
KEPCO signed a $510 million agreement with National Electric Power Company in Jordan to build wind power plant to produce electricity almost about 100 megawatt (MW).

For tourism sector, Jordan would like to attract more Korean tourists as possible. The tourism market is vital in Korea especially to attack Koreans for religious and archeological sites in Jordan. Jordanian Embassy in Seoul is doing our best to participate in many cultural events to promote Jordan products and unique and diverse feature of the Kingdom.

Q: What is the volume of bilateral trade, its outlook in the next 12 months?
A: Trade balance between Jordan and Korea reached $1.3 billionin 2012, but theamount declined to $975 millions in 2013 and $550 millions in 2014 due to the global economy crisis. Despite the global economy in turbulent, I hope Jordan and Korea continuously discuss the measures to boost bilateral economic relation in the field of common interest, electricity, clean energy and more.I will work hard with my colleagues from public and privet sectors in Korea to stimulate and to enhance our trade exchange more in the near future. Jordan is one of the top importers of Korean automobile, smart mobiles and other electrical appliances.The Jordanian market is dominated by Korean cars and other products, and theyhave been in favor in the region due to the growing popularity and reliability of Korean vehicles.

Photo shows President Park Geun-hye flanked by newly accredited Ambassador Adel Adaileh of Jordan in Seoul (left) and Second Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Cho Tae-yul.

Q: Who are the Korean companies actively engaged in the promotion of economic cooperation between Korean and your country?
A: The Korean companies who are actively engaged in the promotion of economic cooperation between Jordan and Korea are below include: KOSPO Jordan L.L.C; Lotte ENC, Daewoo Electronics Corp, Samsung Electronics Levant Co. Ltd; LG Life Sciences Ltd, LG International Corp, Kolon Engineering Construction Co, Daewoo Engineering Construction Co. Ltd; Daewoo International Corp, Asia Electric Power Co; KEPCO KPSEngineering co and others. Jordan is also looking forward to meeting with small and medium sized enterprises who wish to work with the Kingdom. Jordan is largely open to foreign investments.

Q: What are the areas in your country where you want Korean companies to invest and what are the areas where you wish your businessmen to invest in Korea?
A: The Kingdom’s goal is to increase the share of the renewable energy needs up to 11% by 2025. To reach this goal, the kingdom needs to expand the development of renewable energy projects, to promote energy conservation and energy efficiency and to generate electricity from nuclear energy. In this respect, Jordan the Kingdom wishes to continue the strong ties with the Republic of Korea.

Q: Please introduce your Head of Government in details, including major achievement:
A: Jordan is a constitutional monarchy under the 1952 constitution and its followed amendments. The head of state is the King Abdullah II Bin-Al-Hussein, and the Prime Minister is appointed by the King. The bicameral parliament consists of the 65-seat Chamber of Senate (Upper House), whose members are appointed by the king, and the 130-seat for the House of deputies ( Lower House), whose members are popularly elected, with 15 reserved for women out of 130 seats, All legislators serve four-year term. Administratively, Jordan is divided into 12 governorates, in 2016; the country’s population was approximately 7.5 million people with the vast majority being bilingual. More than 92% of Jordanian populations are Moslem, and 6%to 10% are Christians.

Dead Sea. Jordan has many fascinating attractions for Korean tourists.

Q: What is your personal view of Korea and the Korean people before and after your arrival here?
A: I had an idea that Korea is very developed nation, which it has a stable, secure, independent economy, highly educated workforce and high technology. The expectation didn’t change much. I was impressed by well systemized infrastructures in Korea such as road, tunnel, subway and other transportation. Due to the excellent transportation system, it is quite easy for me and my family to get around the cities. Korea has wonderful historical and tourist sites where tourists can see the deep history, not only of Korea but of the whole region. Tourist facilities, hotels, furnished apartments, residential complex, motels, restaurants are convenient. Tourists can enjoy delicious food and relax in coffee shops. More than that, Korean people are very hospitable and generous.Iwas always welcomed and felt home. Halal food market is somewhat limited in Korea so it is a little challenging to find decent Halal restaurants in Seoul,however, asa growing numberof Muslims tourists are visiting Korea, I expect to see more Halal food markets in Korea in the near future.

Q: As Your Excellency is relatively new in Korea, our readers would wish to learn as much information as possible concerning Your Excellency. Please introduce yourself to the fullest possible extend, including your career, personal details and idea for increased cooperation with Korea, especially in the economic area.
A: I am a resident Ambassador to the Republic of Korea from September 21, 2016. Prior to my post here, I served as a Director of Asian Department at the Ministry Foreign Affairs, Amman, Jordan (2013-2016), Ambassador to Azerbaijan (2010-2013), and non-resident Ambassador to Georgia (2012-2013). I joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1987 and began my career as a diplomatic attaché in Chile. I worked mostly on Political Affairs and Consular Affairs in Libya and Romania. Later I was appointed as a head of Arab League Section, tapped as Charge d’ Affairs in Gaza, Palestine, and lead the North African Countries Desk. For 29 years of faithful service in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I was assigned to several countries in the world. When I began my career in the Republic of Korea, I immediately felt Jordan and Korea share some similarities. Both countries are lack of natural resources, sharing border with unstable neighborhoods, and value high percentage of educated people. Jordan and Korea have much room for cooperating to deepen our bilateral economic, trade and investment relations.

Q: What are the attractive tourist destinations of your country?
A: The major tourist attraction sites in Jordan include Petra, Wadi Rum, Aqaba, Jordan River, Bethany, and Jerash. Petra: One of the famous attraction sites spots in Jordan, it’s one of the Seven world wonder, the city carved inside rocks in the desert, Al Khazneh, one of the most elaborate temples of Petra. It is hard to believe such culture could develop in the middle of the desert in 6 century B.C. It is truly an out-of- this-world experience.

Dead Sea:At 410 meter below sea level, the Dead Sea is the lowest place on earth, the main attractions of the Dead Sea is of course the soothing, abnormally salty water itself. The salt content of the water is 31.5 making the water so buoyant that it is impossible for the visitor to sink.
Wadi Rum: Wadi Rum, a valley cut into sandstone and granite rock, is the most famous desert attraction site, from the morning to the evening, the jeep tours and the camel tours follow the key sites along the way.
Aqaba:The beautiful coastal city in Jordan, its location next to Wadi Rum and Petra has placed in Jordan's golden triangle of tourism, which strengthened the city's location on the world map and made it one of the major tourist attractions in Jordan, on a clear day, from Aqaba; you can see Palestine, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Israel.
Jordan River in Jordan: The Jordan River runs through the land and history of the Bible, where Jesus was baptized in its water, it flows into the Dead Sea in the south. Bethany: Bethany, these places have remained pilgrimage routes, it’s located on the east bank of the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized in its water, many religious groups in the world build memorial cathedrals at the site and welcomes travels to the Holy Land and baptism site.
Jerash: Jerash is one of the largest and most well-preserved sites of Roman architecture in the world outside Italy.

Yoo,Heui-Jin  edt@koreapost.com

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