Amendments to investment law discussed

National Yemen

Participants in the investment law discussion

BY NY Staff

The Studies & Economic Media Center & Economic Reforms Team, in cooperation with the Public Authority for Investment, recently held a consultative meeting between private sector leaders and the General Authority for Investment to discuss future partnership mechanisms to improve Yemen’s investment environment.

SEMC Chairman Mustafa Nasr emphasized the need for substantial legislative amendments at the meeting, which was held at the Businessmen’s Club in Sana’a.

Nasr pointed to efforts by the Economic Reform Team that combined 24 private sector leaders, civil society representatives and experts to discuss development priorities in the next ‘phase’, when the team will work to complete its efforts to create practical mechanisms to implement economic reform and improve the state of investment in the country.

Nasr also explained that it’s the first time that private sector and civil society are working together to enhance their voices as active partners with the government.  He spoke about the recent donor conferences, government priorities for the transitional period, and the discussion of a draft law covering the partnership between the government and the private sector.

The head of Economic Reform Team, Ahmed Bazara’a, discussed the stages in which the team will prepare the economic reform visions and economic priorities, based on extensive discussions with private sector leaders in major Yemeni governorates.

Bazara’a stressed that while the government’s interest in partnerships with the private sector is something positive, such efforts must meet the needs that come with building a ‘new Yemen’.

Program manager for the Middle East and North Africa at the Center of International Private Enterprise (CIPE) Abdulwahab AL-Kibsi spoke about the center’s role in democratic reform from an economic point of view and pointed to the role that should be played by the private sector. He confirmed that the center is ready to adopt initiatives that contribute to the promotion of democratic reform in Yemen.

The acting head of the Public Authority for Investment, Mohammed Hussain, reviewed demands for amending the investment law which was issued in 2010, and pointed out many of the flaws which surround the law, and particularly what he perceived to be an unattractive investment environment.

Hussein discussed a wide variety of investment-related issues with those in attendance, such as stalled projects and other problems faced by investors in Yemen. He conveyed the authority’s commitment to working in full partnership with the private sector and with civil society organizations.

At the conclusion of the meeting, participants recommended constructing a committee of private sector individuals and experts to provide feedback on amendments to the investment law, as well as to contribute to the formulation of new policies.

The SEMC has been working together with the CIPE on economic reforms since for almost a year.