Prime Minister welcomes Japanese investments in Yemen [Archives:2008/1148/Local News]

April 21 2008

Mahmoud Al-Samiee
For the Yemen Times

SANA'A, April 13 ) Prime Minister Ali Mujawar welcomed Japanese investors, companies, and funding institutions to invest in Yemen and help promote Yemeni-Japanese economic partnership. During the opening ceremony of a two-day joint Yemeni-Japanese workshop on investment and trade, Mujawar said that “despite old trade relations between Yemen and Japan, we see that cooperation in the investment field is still far under the level we all seek for.” Mujawar added that holding the workshop is an important step in setting up joint investments, as it revealed the importance of expanding fruitful cooperation between the two countries, and an indication of investors' willingness to invest in Yemen.

Mujawar also pointed out the economic and financial reforms Yemen has seen, as well as the country's law enforcement, judiciary independence, record in protecting public funds and strengthened transparency and accountability. He emphasized that providing Japanese companies and corporations with facilities, guarantees, exemptions and security services is ensured by Yemeni investment law.

For his part, Minister of Industry and Trade Yahya Al-Mutawakel reviewed the economic situation in Yemen, as well as the trade and industry policies, including Yemen's plan to expand its non-oil exports, support exports capabilities to foreign markets, and accelerate Yemen's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). He also affirmed that the industrial sector is one of the most important promising economic sectors because of its contributions in serving economic and social developments.

Head of Yemeni General Investments Authority (GIA) Salah Al-Attar reviewed a number of measures taken by the government to improve the investment environment, saying that the president's electoral program and government's plans have focused on conditioning the investment environment and enabling the private sector to play a leading role in sustainable economic and social development.

The Japanese ambassador to Yemen, Masakazu Toshikage, stated that the workshop is a chance to acquaint Japanese investors with Yemen's efforts in developing the investment environment and increasing the number of investment opportunities in different fields. He confirmed the continuous support given by the Japanese government to Yemen to face its economic challenges and boost economic growth, adding that the Japanese embassy is working on improving trade and investment relations between Yemen and Japan. The ambassador also called on Japanese businessmen to explore investment opportunities in Yemen, as there are many investment opportunities in the country and a strategic location that provides opportunities in trade and industry in this part of the world.

The two-day workshop, organized by the GIA and Japanese embassy in Yemen, aimed at introducing the investment environment in Yemen to Japanese investors and presenting promising opportunities in fields of oil, gas, tourism, electricity, fisheries and others. Over 30 Japanese companies and 100 Yemeni organizations were represented.

During the second day, the participants discussed investment opportunities in oil, gas, minerals, electricity, tourism and fisheries. Executive director of Yemeni Company for Gas Anwar Hassan presented a report on oil, gas and minerals investments. He said that the country is producing 320,000 barrels a day, while all oil companies working in Yemen are conducting explorations in 29 percent of the exploration area, while 49 percent of the area has yet to be explored. He also talked about gas production and reserves in Yemen, saying the country's gas reserves stand at 16.7 trillion cubic feet. “In Yemen