Isai to YT: “The Main Objective of this Visit is to Prepare for the Operation of Canada Dry Factory and Inaugurate the Heart Center at the Yemeni-German Hospital” [Archives:2001/20/Business & Economy]

May 14 2001

The Canada Dry Cola Factory in Aden has been given back to its original owners Omar Qassim Al-Isai and Ali Abdullah Ali-Isai a few weeks ago 30 years after it was nationalized by former South Yemen in 1972.
This step comes as part of President Saleh’s to efforts terminate the rules and regulations governing nationalization of private owned factories and establishments, which was common place in the 1970s in Southern and Easter Yemen.
To focus more on this historic step, Yemen Times Aden Bureau Chief, Ridwhan Al-Saqqaf met with Mohamed Ali Abdullah Al-Isai, the Administrative Manager of the Factory, who said, “The regulations of returning the privately owned factories to their rightful owners were slow and awkward. However, because of the orders of H.E. President Ali Abdullah Saleh and the cooperation of the Governor of Aden, Mr. Taha Ahmed Ghanem and the Head of the National Council of Aden Governorate, Abdulkarim Shaif, all the paper work was completed in a record time on 3 May 2001. We have come out with a positive impression regarding the leadership’s commitment to return all the nationalized rights to their owners and focus on investment at a greater pace.”
When asked about whether there were any conditions to be fulfilled before the factory could be returned, Mr. Isai said, “No there weren’t. Even though, we intend to keep all the employees in the factory, we will maintain and enhance the factory’s structure.”Regarding future plans he said, “We have future plans to enhance and maintain the factory and produce the same products of Canada Dry. We will further enhance the production so as to include plastic bottles, which may require expansion of the factory. We are seriously in negotiating with the authorities concerned in Aden of the Ministry of Industry to establish a new factory to produce BET for plastic bottles, besides the recently returned factory. We also intend to establish a factory for manufacturing different vessels to be used for our local products. However, we are currently more focused on the newly returned factory which will require basic and regular maintenance in the departments of water and cooling. We have met with the representative of the Mother Canada Dry Company and discussed ways to enhance and modernize the factory and expand lines of business.”About his assessment of investment scenario in Yemen he said, “Yemen is a country with great potential and has great opportunities for investments from Yemen and all over the world, especially as the leadership represented by President Saleh is offering all facilities to promote investment. Alongside with that, Yemen is a country with a huge marketplace and the different Gulf and Saudi products consumed in the country are a great indication of that. We can also say that industrial investments in Yemen are among the most successful.”Regarding the different other investments Mr. Isai said, “We have many different investments in Yemen for Sheikh Abdullah Al-Isai, of which the Yemen German Hospital is the latest with the partnership with Dr. Yahya Al-Thawr. This is one of my goals of this visit as well as I believe that the hospital will be capable of competing not only in the local arena but also on the regional scale. Several advanced computerized systems not available even in Gulf countries have been brought to the hospital. On the the 22nd of May 2001, the first ever Open Heart Center will be inaugurated, providing the Diagnostic Catheterization Department and Heart Surgery Department and supervision on a 24-hour basis. This center will be the most modern and most well-equipped center under the leadership of Dr. Ali Al-Rabu’i and Abdulqadir Abbas, the Head of the Catheterization Department.”Mr. Isai explained some of the problems he is facing, “There is no business that is free from obstacles and problems, yet we override them as serious businessmen taking into account our country’s national interest. We however, request the decrease of the industrial and consumption taxes, especially softdrink taxes which create significant financial burdens.”In concluding of the interview Mr. Isai said, “I would like to provide my utmost appreciation and gratitude to H.E. President Saleh and all those who helped returning the factory to us. There seems to be a clear and strong commitment by the president to encourage expatriate businessmen. I personally use this opportunity through Yemen Times to call upon all expatriate businessmen to come and invest in their beloved homeland. I would also like to point out that this month for us, Isai family are three in one: Labor Day, Unification Day (22 May), and the day when our factory was returned back to us.”