Foreign Investment Projects in Yemen Decrease

The chairman of the Promotion Section in the General Investment Authority had declared, “We are preparing to launch local awareness campaigns in a number of provinces to spread the culture of investment.”

Foreign investment projects in Yemen have declined during last year to 26 projects at the cost of YR 129 billion.  Foreign initiatives had reached 272 investment projects during 2009 at the cost of YR 314.9 billion with fixed assets reaching to YR 102.1 billion.

According to the government report issued by the General Investment Authority (GIA), Gulf investment projects registered at the GIA and its branches have fallen to 11 projects, compared with 14 investment projects the year before

During 2009, Saudi Arabia topped the list of foreign and Gulf investment projects with eight projects, followed by Kuwait with two projects, and the UAE with a single project.

During 2010, the GIA had granted permits for 164 projects, out of which 138 are local and 26 foreign. The report mentioned that the fixed assets for these projects have amounted to YR 81 billion and the highest rate of registration for the projects occurred during August at 7.19%, while no projects were registered during the months of September, October and November.

Industrial projects ranked first in list with 87 in total, followed by tourist projects at 33 with a cost of YR 14 billion, while service projects recorded stood at 27 at the cost of YR 31 billion. The province of Hodeida came first in the list of with 22 projects at the cost of YR 68 billion.

The year 2009 had witnessed a remarkable boost in terms of the number of Arab and foreign projects despite the financial crisis that faced the world.

The Chairwoman of the Promotion Board at the GIA, Montaha Mothanna, has stressed that this year she will increase promotion for investment through seminars that present the investment atmosphere and available investment opportunities.

“We are attempting to boost promotion domestically and abroad,” she said. “We in the promotion section will facilitate the initiatives by supporting the policies, and the section will conduct awareness campaigns in a number of provinces in order to spread the culture of investment among the people for the purpose of creating work opportunities and contributing to improving the standards of living for citizens.”

These campaigns will be carried out through media outlets, in schools, and in universities as per the schedule prepared by the promotion section.

Montaha pointed out that during the coming period, the GIA will work on projecting the positive image of Yemen, promoting improvement in the investment atmosphere and the environment of business performance, and will publicize the available investment opportunities amongst decision-makers, researchers, and investors abroad.

“The difficulties facing us lie in the insufficiency and lack of infrastructure required by investment projects and the weakness of the judiciary with regard to business.

“However, we will work on resolving these difficulties by encouraging investment in infrastructure and contributing to accelerating the speed of establishing the proposed industrial zones in Aden, Hodeida, and Mukalla, and the necessity of providing them with the services necessary for establishing the projects that will be carried out in these zones, and also proposing new areas and complexes in the other provinces. In addition, the rehabilitation of commercial courts will be accelerated,” Mothanna continued.

In relation to legal and legislative frameworks, she affirmed that a new investment law has recently been issued in addition to the tax and customs law. All these laws will make for more inducements for local, Arab, and foreign investors and also will maintain the recent international developments in this field.

In relation to the judiciary, Mothanna asserted that the government is very much concerned with upgrading the commercial courts at all levels and working on shoring up the efficiency and legitimacy of the courts concerned with investment issues and disputes, as well as determining a timeline for accomplishing their tasks.

In general, the GIA will play an assisting role within the executive panel to improve the investment environment within the framework of comprehensive economic reforms carried out by the government at the short and medium term.

Coordination will also be held, Mothanna projected, with the competent authorities in order to find serious solutions to overcoming other difficulties and also progress will be made on improving the investment environment in a way that ensures the influx of investment into Yemen.