Business In Brief [Archives:2006/949/Business & Economy]

May 25 2006

The Yemen Society for Consumer Protection (YSCP) has responded with satisfaction to the decision made by the chairman of the West Capital Secretariat Court, Judge Mohammed Ismael Al-Hajji, on 20 May 2006 that prevents the sale of concentrated fodder containing lards contaminated with dioxin and other toxic substances. On 20 May, the YSCP issued a press release mentioning that the judge's verdict was a response to the lawsuit filed by the society against the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, the Yemeni Authority of Specifications and Standardization, and the Al-Falah poultry company. The lawsuit holds the three parties responsible for importation of 223,874 thousand kilograms of fodder concentrates polluted with lard containing the highly poisonous chemical substance dioxin.

A recently published international report anticipates that the Yemeni government will introduce a new “dose” of price reforms after the coming presidential and local elections. The report also expects the Yemeni riyal exchange rate to drop against the U.S. dollar to around YR 198.6 to the dollar during 2006 and down to YR 206 by 2007. The report, issued by the British Economic Information Unit, disclosed Yemen's failure to achieve the annual economic growth specified in its five-year plan (2001-2005) as the GNP in 2005 failed to exceed 2.6% against the targeted rate of 5.6%. The report attributed that failure to the steep drop in oil production and export as the Yemeni oil reserves have been gradually depleted, adding that it is not expected for the Yemeni government to curtail expenditures before the September 2006 elections. The report, posted on Yemeni opposition websites, foresees investment recovery with the start of spending on construction of the liquefied natural gas project and other new energy projects.

An agreement has been signed in Paris on 18 May between the Yemeni airways company, Yemenia, and the French Civil Aviation Authority that will see the addition of one additional Yemenia flight from Sana'a to Paris. The agreement was signed at the conclusion of a consultative meeting between the two sides and stipulated that the additional flight will begin next June. With the addition of this flight, the number of weekly Yemenia flights to Paris will reach four from the current three.

The Bahr Al-Arab Company, specialized in supplying and grinding fish, has recently begun production in the free industrial zone of Aden. Sources at the Aden free zone said that the company is one of the Jordanian investment companies operating in Yemen. The company's production capacity is 200 tons a month of grinded fishmeal. The fishmeal is then processed into poultry fodder with 100% exported abroad. Yemen is the sole source of the company's primary raw material. Registered at the Aden free zone since 2004, the Bahr Al-Arab Company was allocated approximately six-thousand square meters of land at the industrial and warehousing area. It began trial operations in April 2005 and plans to continue its work for a 25 year period until its operating license comes u for renewal.

Aden's seaport is scheduled to put into service a new international navigation system at the beginning of next year. The system facilitates and regulates ship movement inside the port and provides information on ships entering it. Sources working in the field have indicated that the Italian consultative technical delegation from de Apolina has lately submitted a report to the Yemeni Ports Authority on aspects of the technical establishment of the system.