Jordan’s king calls for investment despite unrest

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Jordan’s King Abdullah II urged U.S. businessmen visiting the kingdom Saturday to make bigger investments in Jordan, saying they should not be dissuaded by the popular uprisings that have unseated two Arab leaders and threatened others.

Abdullah said investing in Jordan allows them access to three continents, 350 million Arab consumers and a cheap, bilingual and skilled Jordanian labor force.

Some protests calling for political changes have been held in Jordan, but the country has not seen the kind of serious unrest that has hit other Arab nations.

Abdullah addressed American businessmen from companies including Hilton Hotels, Cisco Systems Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., Microsoft Corp., General Electric Co., Citigroup Inc., Raytheon Co. and Boeing Co.

One of the attending firms, the global entertainment organization Rubicon Group Holding, announced it will design and produce a 184-acre theme park in the Red Sea city of Aqaba at a projected cost of $1 billion.

Rubicon said in a statement that the Red Sea Astrarium will feature an attraction inspired by the 2009 movie “Star Trek” and developed by Paramount Recreation.

The statement said the project, which is due for completion in 2014, will generate employment for more than 500 high-skilled workers in the local community and will incorporate renewable technologies throughout the facility.

Rubicon, which is specialized in digital content production for entertainment and education, is headquartered in Jordan with subsidiaries in Los Angeles and two other locations worldwide.


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