More Exports, Investment Between Yemen & Saudi Arabia [Archives:2000/47/Business & Economy]

November 20 2000

Yemeni Agricultural exports to Saudi Markets have marked a sharp increase during the first half of this year amounting to 22845,8 tons of fruits, 18854,8 tons of vegetables and 617,7 tons of Yemeni coffee.
Sources at the Supreme Exports Council maintained that Yemen and Saudi Arabia agreed on building three installations in Saudi Markets to help store and distribute Yemeni agricultural exports. Exporting to Saudi Arabia is considered to be the second major source of income for Yemen, second to oil, contributing 17% of the gross domestic product.
Economic and investment reports indicate that the borders treaty signed in Jeddah on 12 June, 2000 has enhanced ties between Yemeni-Saudi businessmen and merchants. During the past few months, many Saudi businessmen, merchants came to Yemen to explore investment opportunities in tourism contracting and industrial fields in the country especially in the free Zone of Aden.
One of the Saudi businessmen Mr. Abdulrahman Fakih has invested SR 100 million in terms of establishing 10 centers for al-Tazej meaning fresh restaurants in Sanaa. This will create about 1000 jobs for Yemenis according to an agreement with the international Group represented by Nabil al-Khamri, a Yemeni businessman.
It is expected that the Yemeni-Saudi Coordination Council will draw up plans so as to enhance bilateral cooperation between the two countries in investment and economy.
Businessmen in Yemen highly count on establishing investment partnership with their Yemeni emigrants, businessmen, in Saudi Arabia. Many industrial projects are expected to be established in the Free zone of Aden.
A care in point is the Saudi-German Hospitals Group which started setting up two hospitals: one in Sanaa and the other in Aden costing $ 100 million. The hospital in Sanaa consists of 400 beds and includes all specializations while the hospital in Aden consists of 200 beds. The objective of this project is to treat incurable diseases as official reports indicate that Yemen loses more than $ 300 million for treating Yemenis abroad.
On 22 August, 2000, a draft agreement on cooperation was reached by Al-Madinah Company of International Standards representing the Saudi side and the Yemeni Economic Establishment representing the Yemeni side in the tourist and investment fields.
Al-Ruyah Trade and contracting Company, Saudi, has allocated about $35 million for investment in Yemen which goes to prove the development of investment in the country and the inflow of capitals from the kingdom to Yemen. This has been remarkably observed due to the flexible and good facilities and guarantees ensured to investors by the investment law including taxes exemptions.
Economic sources state that al-Ruyah, Saudi company, is conducting negotiations with some Yemeni officials to finish the building of the TV establishment in Aden at a cost of $200 million. The company is also setting up a township for the National Investment and trade Bank costing $ 40 million.
Many Saudi businessmen expressed their readiness to invest in Yemen after signing the borders treaty between the two countries. However, they are still waiting for necessary studies to erect projects in the Free Zone in Aden.
Trade sources expect that the trade exchange between the two countries will boost the balance of trade which is now in favor of Saudi Arabia by $ 200 million.
All in all, after signing the borders treaty Yemeni-Saudi relations have changed from neighbors to partners which will help the two countries to make use of oil and mineral investment opportunities, specially in areas near to the border line.