Remarks on investment in Yemen [Archives:2003/670/Business & Economy]

September 22 2003

Ismail Al-Ghabiri
The general and comprehensive concept of investment is that of investing time and effort for the benefit of any human activity heading towards the achievement of public and private goals planned beforehand and also for meeting people's needs and common interests. This means that investment should not be aimed at only gaining private profits but essentially the public interest.
The door is wide-open for the public and private sectors, mixed sector and for foreign investors, for investment in raw material and natural wealth such as minerals, petroleum and gas, fish, agriculture and industry. This is done according to the constitution and the laws regulating the investment work provided it is in harmony with public and private interests.
Nevertheless, investment movement in Yemen is still weak and floundering and there re a number of complications blocking it way particularly regarding implementation, the volume of production or the economic and social return. It is generally characterized by speculation in prices and running after speedy profit, even if at the expense of the consumer.
We do not support privatization if its main aim is to change public property into private property, whereas the essential goal of privatization is to solve the problems of weak production, bad quality of the product and improvement of work mechanism and entering into competition with external products. The aims of privatization could also be the reduction in costs and prices, expanding the scope of employment of workforce and raising the standard of its skills through continued training and raising wages of workers.
Yemen's economy nowadays can accommodate all forms of property and in all sectors. What is lacking is the non-introduction of enough competition conditions among various sectors of production and not unifying the goals of all those sectors for the serving of the general aim that reconcile between the public and the private interest and to surmount any attempt for blackmailing by one party at the expense of another.
Our orientation in Yemen should be the encouragement of investment in all economic and social fields, including education and health, development of infrastructure, water and electricity projects and communications. Focusing should be mainly on agriculture development and industry; light and heavy in order to achieve the biggest amount of self-sufficiency and not to be under the mercy of economic globalization.