Business In Brief [Archives:2007/1017/Business & Economy]

January 18 2007

– 2006 Tourism profits reach US$278 million

An official report issued by the Ministry of Tourism indicated that the total returns of the tourism industry reached $278 million in 2006 compared to $236 million in 2005. The report also indicated that the total number of tourists who came to Yemen during 2006 was 355,000 tourists up from 300,000 tourists in 2005, while the average spending of each tourist increased to $135 per day in 2006 a rise of $5 daily.

– Khalid Bahah expands Indo-Yemeni relations

Minister of Oil and Mineral Resources Khalid Bahah have announced that India-based Reliance Industries is setting up an oil refinery in Yemen with a capacity to process 50,000 barrels of crude oil a day. This comes after several Indian Oil companies have secured a total of five onshore following the in the third round of auction held last year. Minister Bahah has also met with several Indian Officials and discussed advancing bilateral relations during his current visit to New Delhi on the margins of the Petrotech 2007 exposition.

– 47 blocks to produce oil in 2007

Sources at the Ministry of Oil indicated that the number of oil producing blocks is forecasted to increase from the current 26 blocks to 47 blocks by the end of 2007. Yemen's oil production will exceed 400,000 barrels per day from the current 370,000 barrels. Yemen's oil reserves are estimated at 9.7 billion barrels.

– WB: Yemen leads corruption battle

The World Bank has announced that Yemen's anti-corruption measures are ranked among the first in the region as it was the first to establish an anti-corruption body among Arab countries. This announcement was made during a seminar presenting the World Bank's global anti-corruption and good governance strategy.

– President Saleh calls on investors to complete projects

President Ali Abdullah Saleh calls on investors who have announced plans to invest in selected industries in Yemen to go ahead and construct those projects and make sure that actions follow words, emphasizing the importance of such strategic investments for developing the economy and providing employment opportunities. He made this statement while visiting the cement plant being constructed in Mukkala, an investment of $260 million.

– YR 600 m. for agricultural research

Ministry of Agriculture has allocated YR 600 million for agricultural research in order to activate the role of the Agricultural Research Authority and boost the national agricultural production. The ministry is also working on a plan to plant sunflowers for industrial purposes and construct a $2 million sunflower processing plant to produce sunflower oil.

– Anti-Money laundering conference

Held in Aden between Jan. 14, the three-day conference on combating money laundering and terrorism was concluded with several local and Arab banks participating. The conference was raising awareness on the dangers money laundering and financing terrorism and the dangers Arab banks suffer because of such illegal activities. The conference also aimed at educating participants on how to identify cases of money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

– Lahej's Iron plant starts operation

Director of investments in Lahej, Sulaiman Mohammed Al-Haboub, has indicated that the iron core processing plant started test operations as a pilot for the actual operation of the plant. He has indicated that once the plant starts full-scale operation it will produce over 500,000 tones of iron core annually. Al-Haboub has also indicated that several other industrial plants are preparing for operation in 2007, in several industries including iron, steel, petrochemicals and ceramics.

– Plans for Shabwa Industrial Zone

A team of technical experts and civil engineers from the department of lands and urban planning are drafting an indusrial zone in the areas of Bir Ali, Belhaf, Ayn Maabad and the port area around the YLNG plant in order to attract more investments to the area and boost the national economy.