Special Zones

The firm is credited with drafting the impressive legislative package establishing and governing the Aqaba Special Economic Zone (ASEZ) in Jordan's only port city. This includes drafting and advocating for more than 30 pieces of legislation, covering, inter alia, Zone governance, customs, business licensing and regulation, land use and zoning, foreign investment, market access, and environmental regulation. Additionally, the firm has experience advising on inland ports, duty free zones, and affiliated industrial parks.

IBLAW advised the Government of Jordan on the establishment of the Special Economic Zone in the Southern city of Aqaba (ASEZ) which aimed at creating a duty-free low-tax special economic zone with special regulatory framework, and setting up a streamlined, liberal and attractive investment climate with overriding role for private sector in Zone development. In particular, IBLAW performed the following:

  • Drafting the Zone's constitutional bylaws and entire package of governing legislation. This includes bylaws, 20 regulations, nearly 70 instructions and 17 MOUs setting the basis for, and governing all regulatory aspects related to the operation of the Zone, such as business licensing, customs, land, labor, immigration, taxation, government procurement, zoning, environmental protection and private sector participation in real estate and infrastructure development;
  • Assisting effectively in establishing and setting regulatory and restructuring tasks pertaining to ASEZ's pilot projects, such as the Risk Based System for Food Control and Health Procedures, Registration and Permitting systems for economic activities and electronic enabling thereof, and advocating on the issues of origin rules and certification;
  • In the field of investment, working closely with other team players to create the online interactive systems for registering and licensing businesses, a process that required full charting and detailing of all steps needed to register and license a business, and fleshing out the particulars of the legal aspects thereof.
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