Investment just Needs Law Enactment [Archives:2000/34/Viewpoint]

August 21 2000

Investment plays a very important role in the development and economy of any country, particularly in this era of globalization where the geographical barriers between countries are to be abolished. It also provides a lot of job opportunities and brings out hard currency.
What is more interesting is that Yemen is among the countries that have lots of laws. But the problem is that our laws lack enactment. The most important for us is not passing laws; it is rather their enactment.
The Investment Law No. 22, for instance, was issued in 1991 and was amended twice in 1995 and 1997. This law, like many other laws, is not enacted. It gives some privileges and facilities to investors. However, investors do not enjoy their rights as nominated in the law. There are two main problems faced by investors in Yemen.
The first is that the judiciary which should be instrumental in making investors have their due rights is completely absent and unfair. This is one aspect of the plights of investors. Yemen should have fair and independent judicial system to protect the rights of investors. Otherwise, no investors would drop in the country. Not only that, local businessmen will leave the country.
The other headache of investment is the dirty game played by some influential crooks at the power center against investors flowing in into the country. These crooks tell them that they would like to be their shareholders. This is fine right now. But they do not want to pay their share of the money. Their share in the business would be to protect their intersts in the project in question. Protect against whom? It is nonsense, isnt it?
This naturally makes Arab and foreign investors fly back home looking for a better and safer place to invest their money. In this way we have lost many investment projects which could have brought a new life into our fragile economic infrastructure.
A friend of mine who is a foreigner told me that he had started a project and it was going fine. But because he refused to be blackmailed by some people, he was denied to have access into the project and now it is demolished.
It is corruption that is working as a stumbling block on the way of any efforts to reform the system and refresh our economy. With existence of corruption, our efforts for development and prosperity would wither away.