The World Bank frustrated about the situation of the Free Zone in Aden [Archives:2004/738/Business & Economy]

May 17 2004

Mahyoub Al-Kamaly
Delegation of the World Bank headed by the Bank's deputy chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Region that recently concluded a visit to Yemen, urged the government to direct efforts towards diversifying sources of the country's national income by depending on non-oil sector in order to provide the state's general budget.
The WB head of the delegation said in a press conference in Sana'a that the projects the WB w implementing in Yemen were progressing according to the planed form but also confirmed that the country was still in need of positive steps to be taken with the aim of engaging the private sector in development.
On his part, the Yemeni minister of planning and international cooperation Ahmed Soufan replied to those remarks by affirming that the government was seeking to diversify the basis of its economic resources and that in future it would include other promising sectors like mining, agriculture, tourism, fish wealth and in addition to strengthening its relations with the World Bank in areas of traditional and renewable energy.
Deputy Chairman of the WB had during his stay in Yemen visited the Free Zone in Aden where he visited the industrial area and the container port run by the OPM Company. And during a luncheon party held on the occasion the resident representative of the WB in Yemen had expressed a feeling of frustration for the situation in the Free Zone, saying that through the past years when we visited Aden we had each time witnessed new developments. But, he remarked, at the same time we had suffered frustration when we saw that the project of the free zone on which huge amounts of money were spent was in need of being operated and used in the best way.
The local authority replied by saying that its efforts were focused on building the zone's infrastructure as it is considered the basic ground for investment, tourism and trade.
The WB supports at the present time a project for developing the main port cities of Hudeidah, Aden, Mukalla and Makha at a cost estimated at $13 million, in addition to implementation of programs on girls education, development of local communities and a project for public works.