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Chinese, Jordanian Firms Set Up Car Manufacturing Plant

Opening in 2008, initial production will be 4,000-6,000 vehicles.

China's Hebei Zhongxing Automobile on June 19 signed an agreement with Jordan's Ayass Motors to set up the first private car assembly and manufacturing plant in Jordan, with a starting capital of $30 million.

The plant will begin operating in 2008, with initial production capacity of 4,000-6,250 vehicles, Ayass chief Mazin Ayass said at a signing ceremony in Amman. Annual production of four- and two-wheel-drive vehicles as well as pickups will rise to 12,000 and then to 24,000, targeting Arab and east European markets, Ayass added. The joint venture hopes to manufacture sedans and salons at a later stage.

"Around 25% of car parts will be manufactured in Jordan, which will positively reflect on local industries," he said. Maan Nsur of Jordan's state-run Investment Promotion Corporation expects the venture to create more than 17,000 jobs.

According to the Zhongxing website, the Chinese company is a "pioneer in pickup truck exports as well as manufacturing" and aims to become "the first Chinese automaker to sell automobiles in the U.S." later this year.

The deal was sealed on the sidelines of a two-day conference in Jordan to mull ways of bolstering trade between Chinese businessmen and their Jordanian counterparts.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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