Sunday, March 20, 2011

Fallback of investment in Yemen due to political crisis

By: Abdul-Aziz Oudha

Sana'a, Mar 21, 2011- Arab and international investment in Yemen has decreased and tourism has also declined, the government's latest General Investment Authority report has confirmed.

The report compares figures between last year and 2009. It indicates that Arab and foreign investments registered last year totaled 164 projects with an income of YR129 billion. However, in 2009 there were 272 projects with an income of YR314 billion. This is a drop of 108 projects and a loss of YR185 billion income.

The investment authority said that there was a drop in the number of the Gulf investment projects which last year totaled 12 projects with an income of YR19 billion. The previous year there were 14 projects totaling YR113.572 billion.

There were eight Saudi Arabian projects valued YR202 billion and two Kuwaiti projects valued at YR16.5 billion. The biggest of these projects were a joint Yemeni-Kuwaiti real estate project, a Qatari farm costing YR200 million and a UAE project of YR41 million.

The authority's records showed that Saudi investment projects in Yemen last year were third place on an investment list. This included four tourism projects, an industrial project and an agricultural project, said the authority.

Other investors were from Egypt, Kuwait, Jordan, Qatar, Lebanon, Syria, Malaysia, Turkey, Tanzania, China, Britain, France, Canada and America. These investment projects created hundreds of jobs, said the authority.

Economic sources said that a number of Gulf and Yemeni investors have delayed the establishment of five iron, sugar and cement plants in a number of governorates, particularly in southern parts of the country where violence has been the worst in recent months. This includes Aden, Hadramout, Shabwa in the south east, Hodeida in the west and Marib in the east.

The 'Economist' magazine reported that a number Yemeni and Gulf investors were forced to delay their projects because of what they described as a currently inappropriate investment climate in some parts of Yemeni. Some donors were also reluctant to finance their projects.

“The delayed industries include a US$200 million sugar factory in Aden and a US$260 million cement plant in Marib. Another delayed cement factory was planned for Shabwa, costing US$200 million. An iron and steel factory in Hodeida at a cost of US$100 million has also been delayed, in addition to a cement factory in Mukala,” reported the investment authority.

Five star hotels in Aden, Sana’a, Mukala and Taiz are meanwhile complaining about the significant decrease of tourists from Yemen and abroad.

Source: Yemen Observer

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