Business In Brief [Archives:2007/1019/Business & Economy]

January 25 2007

– Merchants go on strike against sales tax law

Many merchants and businessmen have closed their shops and retail outlets in several districts of Sana'a and other cities demanding the president revokes the sales tax law and use the previous taxation mechanism. The tax authority has broadcasted advertisements explaining that only large businesses will be affected by the tax and advised them not to be misinformed or manipulated by larger businesses as most merchants who went on strike will not be affected by the tax law.

– Al-Asali: Sales tax is unstoppable

Minister of Finance, Saif Al-Asali, stated that the amended 2001 sales tax is unstoppable, calling on the chambers of commerce and the business community to give up their challenges. He also added that this law will result in the easiest, fairest and efficient taxation mechanism which have been adopted in many countries.

– NGOs describe government as insincere in combating corruption

Alliance of Civil society organizations has described the government's efforts in combating corruption as “insincere” as the government has deliberately chose not to allow representation of the civil society in the national authority for anti-corruption. The alliance also stated in a press release that it has several comments on the anti-corruption law, adding that there is no transparency in putting together the proposed anti-corruption committee.

– Government revenue grows 32 percent in 2006

Sources at the Ministery of Finance indicated that government revenue reached YR 1,424 billion in 2006, compared to YR 1,078 billion in 2005. The main force behind the increase was the 29 percent increase in oil revenue in 2006 compared to 2005, which reached YR 1,085 billion in 2006, accounting for 76 percent of all government revenue and falling from 78 percent in 2005.

– Committees for Yemen's accession to the GCC formed

Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Al-Arhabi indicated that committees to facilitate Yemen's accession to the Gulf Cooperative Council have been formed with four lines of operations. The first to develop the infrastructure of the country and create sustainable development; the second to develop an investment-friendly environment; the third to synchronize several economic and social agencies in Yemen with their counterparts in the gulf; while the fourth will harmonize the legal framework in Yemen with that of Gulf states.

– Indian Oil Companies consider investing in Yemen

Upon his return from India, Minister of Oil and Minerial Khalid Bahah has stated that seven Indian Oil companies are considering investing in Yemen and will enter the 4th International Bid of Oil Sectors, which will take place in the second half of 2007. There are also interested in investing in oil refineries and infrastructure.

– Japan to promote technical training in Yemen

A delegation is expected to arrive from Japan in mid-February to assess the current situation of technical and vocational training in Yemen in order to establish several educational projects aiming to improve technical training in Yemen. Japan is currently committed to boosting economic development and cooperation with Yemen.

– Yemenia attracts Gulf investors

Yemenia Airways have received offers from Gulf-based investors to invest in the company's domestic airline subsidiary which will operate locally linking Yemeni cities, which is a part of a general turnaround strategy Yemenia has adopted in order to boost its profitability and competitiveness in the region.

– YCB launches Jawaher Scheme

To attract more deposits in the bank the Yemen Commercial Bank adopted a new and exciting scheme called Al Tijari Jawaher, the scheme entails the deposit of YR 100,000 or $500 in the account in order to enter a draw for 12 luxurious cars and over 1000 valuable prizes in cash and kind. The first draw for 2007 is to be held in the first week of May.