Yemen Times Attended [Archives:1997/40/Front Page]

October 6 1997

the Meeting: Businessmen Unable to Achieve Smooth Transition
Ismail Al-Ghabry, Yemen Times.
It was chaotic. People were shouting at each other. There was a lot of name-calling. It was the Thursday, October 2nd meeting of the Executive Board of the Federation of Yemeni Chambers of Commerce and Industry. The loud accusations and counter-accusations could be heard from a distance. The Board was discussing ways and means to achieve a smooth transition in leadership. Haj Hussain Al-Watary, Chairman, at the job for ages, is now under intensive pressure to let go. Even official authorities would like to see the change happen, according to reliable Yemen Times sources.
The fight in the Federation of Yemeni Chambers of Commerce and Industry is not over prestige alone. The Federation receives millions in its percentage cut from all imports into the country. It is one of the first points of contact for any foreign company that wishes to do business in Yemen. Thus opening opportunities for agency arrangements and other forms of representation. That is why there is a fight. At another level, the fight is really between the old guards anf the new generation of businessmen. The young people believe that Al-Watary and his like have done thier bit. It is now time to move on and take on new blood. The authorities are willing to offer a medal and other honors to Al-Watary and his team if they leave smoothly. If they don’t, they will simply be shoved aside.