Gulf States adopt donors conference to qualify Yemen’s economy [Archives:2006/937/Business & Economy]

April 13 2006

By: Mahyoub Al-Kamali
The technical committee discussing executive plans and programs to qualify Yemen's economy for incorporation into Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states economies approved setting up a technical team to prepare an international donors conference in Yemen in coming months. The decision was made at the conclusion of technical committee meetings April 9 in Riyadh. The team is composed of the Yemeni side, the GCC general secretariat and some Gulf development funds.

The committee also approved drawing up continued mechanisms to secure holding the conference and work for its success. It also approved holding its next meting the first week of June and another in September.

Dr. Yahya Al-Mutawakil, Deputy Minister of Planning and International Cooperation and chairman of the meetings' Yemeni side, said committee recommendations focused on following up measures to implement decisions made by GCC foreign ministers meeting with Yemeni Foreign Minister Dr. Abubakr Al-Qirbi last March in Riyadh, especially regarding preparing the international donors conference by forming a technical team to convene in May.

He clarified that the committee referred the primary concept presented by Yemen to the team to draw up a mechanism guaranteeing implementing projects to be financed, considering Yemen's relations with GCC states is strong and prosperous.

The committee discussed three papers Yemen presented at its meetings concerning Yemeni economic developments, directions for growth and economic challenges it faces, and financing basic sector needs in view of required investments within Yemen's vision it submitted at last December's GCC summit in Abu Dhabi, as well as the current foreign assistance situation and its future direction.

Yemeni Minister of Trade and Industry Dr. Khalid Rajih Sheikh earlier revealed preparations to hold a joint investment conference for Yemeni and Saudi businessmen in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, clarifying that the conference would discuss and submit many visions and review investment opportunities in Yemen, listen to businessmen and investors' ideas and opinions, in addition to discussing hindrances and solutions to them.

The minister called on Saudi and Yemeni businessmen and investors to become acquainted with available investment opportunities in Yemen, saying that such investment opportunities are subjected to detailed studies and presented to all.

He also referred to large facilities Yemeni investment law is offering and tax and customs exemptions for raw materials and industrial components. The minister announced that three industrial zones soon will be formed and launched early next month. Industrial zones are to be built in Aden, Hodeidah and Mukalla, in addition to building an industrial zone in Hardh next year. Yemen will coordinate this zone with Saudi Arabia, the objective of which is to facilitate work of investors and work on both sides to provide services at one site.