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Jordan - International Marketing

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An underdeveloped transportation system has delayed Jordan's economic development, particularly its efforts to attract foreign direct investment and to conduct transit trade. The government gave a generous amount of money for transportation in the late 1970s and early 1980s. By 1989, Jordan had outdone its Arab neighbors. Jordan's transportation system is composed of roads, railroads, airports, and one port.

In 1989, the Jordanian road network, administered by the Ministry of Transportation, was more than 7,500 kilometers long. Of the total system, 5,500 kilometers were asphalted and the rest were gravel and crushed stone. However, as of 2002, all the roads are paved. The major highway was the Desert Highway running from Amman to Al Aqabah, which was 320 kilometers long. The downfall was that only about 50 percent of this highway was more than two lanes wide. Also, the common practice of freight companies greatly overloading their trucks resulted in severe road damage. Because of this problem, the government began enforcing load limits and severe penalties for those who violated these limits. A second major highway ran east to west from Al Mafraq to the Iraqi border. Because these two highways are the two main parts of the transit trade route between the port of Al Aqabah and Iraq, they often were congested by traffic. Therefore, Jordan's road construction plans focused on building roads, bypasses, and overpasses in other major cities to divert this traffic. Also, the freight and trucking sector was overdeveloped in the 1980s. Competition among many private freight companies and several large government-owned companies led to price cutting and excess capacity. The Iraqi-Jordanian Land Transport Company (IJLTC) was the largest of government-owned freight companies. It carried 1.3 million tons of goods and almost 70,000 passengers. The IJLTC has a fleet of about 900 trucks, 1,400 employees, and profits of over 3 million. In 1987 about 250,000 vehicles were registered in Jordan, an increase from 60,000 vehicles ten years previously. This figure includes about 131,000 passenger cars, 13,000 taxis, 4,000 buses, and 8,500 heavy trucks of various types.

Jordan has 619 kilometers of single-track narrow gauge railroad tracks. The main system was the Hedjaz-Jordan Railway, part of the old Ottoman-era Hijaz Railway that had once connected Istanbul and the Arabian Peninsula. It ran north-south through the length of the country, and



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