A study on a new mechanism for,Investment of Yemeni expatriates funds [Archives:2003/650/Business & Economy]

July 14 2003

By Yemen Times Staff
The ministry of expatriates affairs and the parties organizing investment operation are poring on drawing up a new mechanism for investment of Yemeni expatriates capitals and facilitating trade and investment transfers for compensating the losses the Yemeni economy has been exposed to following the events of 11 September in the united states, that resulted in recession of foreign investments and stagnation of the tourist sector. Committees emerging from the expatriates 2nd conference held in Sana'a last September are now busy completing studies and measures related to the project of establishing expatriates bank and the possibility of inaugurating a stock exchange market and to promote these projects among the expatriates.
Sources at the ministry of expatriates affairs clarified that the ministry was working with relevant authorities on providing all statements and studies on investment projects in Yemen. The sources expect these efforts would contribute to enhance the policies and issues, facilities and services necessary for the Yemeni expatriates in the countries where they are living.
Among the proposals the committees are studying founding an expatriates bank is the distribution of the bank's capital shares by 50% to be contributed by big investors and to submit the other 50% of shares for general subscription by the expatriates with a capital amounting at $70 million. The project of founding the expatriates' bank is deemed to be one of the alternatives proposed by the Yemeni government for restoring confidence to the expatriates' funds estimated at $35 billion. Government sources say that Yemeni economy is facing big challenges because of the drop in the expatriates remittances that receded during the period 1985-'97 between to something between $ 1189 million to $1157 million.
The return of around 400 thousand Yemeni expatriates from the Gulf States after Iraq invasion of Kuwait in 1990 had affected badly the Yemeni expatriates' remittances by a 65%.
Money of Yemeni expatriates mainly exists in South-East Asia, Gulf States, some Arab and African countries in addition to the United States and Europe. Official estimates report that the number of Yemeni expatriates in the Arab countries is around one million and 300 thousand, 800 thousands of whom in Saudi Arabia. There are about 40 thousand Yemeni expatriates in the United States, one thousand in Canada, 6000 in Kenya, 5000 in Tanzania, 22 thousand in Britain, 8000 in Ethiopia, 3000 in Uganda and 2000 in Germany. But the number of Yemeni expatriates in Indonesia exceeds 5 million people, in Malaysia about 100 thousand, 10 thousand in the Comoro Islands, Brunei, India and Singapore.
Yemen was expecting that the kingdom of Saudi Arabia would re-open the door to the return of Yemeni labor to the Saudi labor market but that was not decided during meetings of the Yemeni-Saudi Coordination Council held in Sana'a in the period 5-6 July 2003.