Yemen & Saudi Arabia: Towards Promising Joint Venture of Investment [Archives:2001/24/Business & Economy]

June 11 2001

Mahyoob Al-Kamali
Yemen Times
Signing the Jeddah border Treaty in 12 June 2000, Sana’a and Riyadh came to overcome all the obstacles and tension dominating relations between the two countries over 60 years. This has actually opened doors and created a conducive atmosphere for a new era of cooperation and partnership in various fields. This was translated into actions by the leadership of the two countries. Joint venture of investment has also been achieved among businessmen from the two countries.
Agreements and statistics estimated by the Yemen Times maintained that since signing the Yemeni-Saudi border treaty, a new page has been opened in the mutual relations of the two countries. The agreement restored the strong historic ties for the benefit of people in the two countries.
Trust & Joint Venture:
An accurate study of affairs following a year of signing the treaty, we came to the conclusion that the two countries have launched commendable efforts to create stable political atmosphere; enhance cooperation in security and progress steadily in implementing the border treaty conditions through joint committees.
The leadership of the two countries have recommended businessmen to have joint venture which has constituted a new era for the state of affairs.
Private Yemeni and Saudi sectors have taken the initiative to study investment opportunities, especially in the health, tourist, marine, oil and marketing sectors. They have also agreed to establish joint ventures and to participate in projects that promote exports to the two countries.
Joint Venture Fields in Numbers:
A year after signing the border treaty, Saudi businessmen made agreements with the Yemeni Agricultural Cooperation Union to establish a joint project with a total of SR 42 million. The project is with the objective of setting up three establishments to keep and store agricultural projects and re-market them to Saudi Arabia.
Ten tourist restaurants costing SR 100 million are also established by Saudi businessmen. A Housing City Project is also to be established for the pilots and engineers of the Yemeni Airline costing $ 6 million. One hospital in Sana’a and another in Aden are to be established costing $100 million. A fish canning factory is to be established costing $ 7 million. Yemeni private sector have various shares in these investments.
Huge Investment Companies:
The most important Yemeni-Saudi joint venture is the Holding Company established with a capital ranging between $ 400 -$ 600 million. The company is to invest in different fields the most important of which being an oil refinery in Mukala. Contact between Yemeni and Saudi businessmen during the past year has brought about establishing joint ventures in the industrial zone in Aden.
Some Saudi and Omani businessmen have a 25% share in the capital of the Yemen and Gulf Bank, reaching to $ 7,5 million.
Mutual Partnership:
On the field of promoting the official partnership, Yemeni-Saudi Coordination Supreme Council resumed its activities by holding meetings in al-Madinah al-Munawarah. Meetings granted the Yemeni government $ 300 million while Yemeni debts due Saudi Arabia reaching to $ 249 million were rescheduled. In its meetings held during 12-20 June, it is expected that the council will deal with many issues including the Yemeni employment and prospects of admitting them to Saudi markets again in accordance with plans drawn out by the Saudi side.
On the official cooperation side, figures indicate that the Saudi side is going to fund infrastructure projects including roads, airports and electricity. Authorities of the two countries are exerting efforts to fight smuggling. This will enhance the trade balance which is going on the Saudi exports’ favor.
It is obvious that the Jeddah land and sea border treaty has broken all barriers standing in the face of developing relations between the two countries. It has also given a wide scope for businessmen from both countries to establish ties and invest freely with no restrains.
One year has elapsed since signing the treaty. However, the two countries have made laudable strides in terms of relieving the tension and restoring their amicable and friendly ties. Above all, the treaty has been exemplary to all the countries of the region. It has also been a turning point in the economic and investment cooperation fields.