Businessmen underestimate effect of conferences [Archives:2005/902/Business & Economy]

December 12 2005

Mahyoub al-Kamali
Chairman of the union of chambers of commerce and industry Mohammed Abdeh Saeed Anam has said the large number of symposiums, conferences and seminars has in practice proved, as do not yield practical results on the ground. Mr Saeed, who is also a member of parliament, has told journalists that symposiums and conferences are something good but regretfully they comer out with recommendations that are not put into effect. He has also criticized the government's dealing with decisions it has taken, mentioning that it has at an earlier time decided to reduce them in order to save spending.

In his address to the forum on mechanisms of funding exports and securing investment in Yemen concluded in Sana'a last week, Mr Saeed called on participants to condense recommendations in one and to work on carrying it out instead of the big number of recommendations that could not be implemented. He considered the forum as an opportunity for investors and businessmen to organize themselves through supporting the Arab Establishment for Guaranteeing Investment, affirming as the process of exportation as the major pillar for the development of any country.

On his part the minister of Trade and Industry Khalid Rajih al-Sheikh addressed the forum and called on officials in the Arab countries who are specialized in this field as well as the private sector to work for Arab economic integration and upgrade the level of inter-Arab trade. He described it as not exceeding 10% of the total Arab trade with the world. Minister al-Sheikh has also called on Arab capitalists to invest in Yemen, affirming that the law grants them all the rights guaranteed for their Yemeni counterparts. The minister has also said the European Union has granted Yemen a privilege of allowing it to export everything to the European markets, except weapons without customs taxes provided that there is commitment to European specifications. The minister deemed that a channel for Arab investors to enter the European markets through production in Yemen. The minister mentioned there was a complaint aroused by investors regarding rise in costs and complication of measures, expressing the government willingness to discuss those points.

At the time the minister urged Yemeni businessmen to discuss the topics on the forum's agenda and benefit from them, some businessmen belittled the avail of holding those conferences and their effect on the practical side.

General Manager of the Saudi exports program Saleh al-Augi had also complained of the difficulty of obtaining information from Yemeni banking establishments and businessmen. Mr al-Augi said there is a good activity in Yemen particularly in the retail sale sector but “we face a problem with regard to gathering information.” The volume of trade exchange between Yemen and Saudi Arabia has amounted to $700 million in which the Saudi balance gained the bigger share.