Doing business in 2006: Creating jobs [Archives:2005/882/Opinion]
RAIDAN ABDULAZIZ AL-SAQQAF
“Doing Business in 2006: Creating Jobs” is the name of the Latest World Bank report, in which Yemen ranked among the five worst countries to start a business venture. The report, which is a joint production of the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), surveyed 155 economies using a scientific methodology which studied business regulations, taxes, trade costs, property rights and access to credit as the principle considerations for ranking.
For Businessmen and investors in Yemen this report carries no news; as the failure of the illusive economic reforms and development plans was expected, indeed, recent economic reports have reveals the relocation Yemeni capital and the migration of local investors, who avoid investing in Yemen such as the 150 gold traders who shifted their industry to Emirates considering it a stable and safe state and encouraging and protecting investments.
According to this WB report, the top performers in the report have aggressively encouraged entrepreneurship development and undertaken far-reaching reforms that streamline business regulations and taxes, in contrast, Yemen along with several African nations which have high youth unemployment rates continue to thwart small and medium businesses with heavy legal burdens and piecemeal reforms.
The Reports conclude that Yemen is a comparatively non-business friendly country, with poor rankings in terms of starting a business, getting credit, tax regulation issues and investor protection. The governmental deceptive lip service to attract regional and global capital has exposed not only the fragile and poor administration in the economic development, but also the failure of the regime to sustain local investors and allow local businessmen to undertake their day-today activities.
The World Bank also continues to advise the government to reduce its dependence on oil and develop diversified industries such as fisheries, tourism and Small & Micro enterprises. However, truth of the matter is that the real economic growth rate of Yemen barely exceeds 2% in real terms while the population grows at 3.5% every year, pushing more Yemenis below the poverty line every year & creating more poverty for the future generations to handle, if there is – at all – a future to look forward to.