Yemen seeking up to $ 10b investment from the Gulf


Addressing a Press conference in Riyadh recently, the minister said that Saudi and other Gulf investors who seek to invest in Yemen will be given several privileges, which include exemption from paying taxes and provision for transfer of profits and capital without hindrance. The Press gathering, which was also attended by Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretary-General Abdul Rahman Al Attiyah, focused on the forthcoming conference for exploring investment opportunities in Yemen, which is scheduled to be held in Yemen on April 22. CEOs and general managers from over 20 Gulf, Arab, and foreign establishments are expected to attend the conference.

The GCC has authorised Al Iktissad Wal-Aamal Group to organise the event. Al Attiyah said that organising the conference was part of the agreement signed between GCC states and Yemen to facilitate more economic cooperation in the GCC 2001 summit. "There are over 100 investment opportunities in Yemen," the minister said. He explained that among the potential areas for investment are three electrical power plants with a capacity of 400 megawatts each. He added that other investment venues were in seaport facilities, aviation, water desalination plants, mining, oil refineries, and railways. "The five industrial zones in Yemen are also a rich area for potential investment," he said.

Al Attiyah, on his part, noted the importance of establishing joint GCC-Yemeni venues, especially in tourism, industrial, and commerce sectors.

Khaled Shaikh said the Yemeni government has been implementing a series of economic reforms since both Yemens unified in 1990. "Since the formation of the unified economy, all sectors have been freed for investment, and we have also had several negotiations to join the World Trade Organisation," the minister said. He noted that 40 per cent of the total imports of Yemen were from Gulf countries.

Highlighting some of the aspects in the Yemeni Investment Law, the minister said that all investment companies would be exempted from paying custom tariffs in its basic structure contents." It also gives an exemption to paying taxes on profits from 5-7 years," he said. As for the labour employed in joint Yemeni projects, he said that projects located within the free zone have the freedom of importing foreign labour or recruiting local, or both.

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