The Yemeni government has initiated plans to improve its investment environment and to attract Arab and foreign companies. The aim is to overcome the consequences of last year’s protests, which caused the number of projects to decline by approximately 40%.
A government source told Al-Hayat newspaper yesterday that the cabinet referred a draft of the national strategy for promoting investment to the board of directors for discussion. The draft was prepared by the General Investment Authority (GIA) and its content will be revised after discussion, in coordination with the ministries and concerned parties.
The source said that the new strategy aims to set priorities for strengthening Yemen’s business environment and to attract investment. It also aims to remove any obstacles to progress and to ensure a smooth flow of projects, as well as to support the GIA in converting it to a fully developed authority for promoting and facilitating investment.
The strategy, prepared by the Irish Agency for International Development in 2009, includes establishing a national promotional network and cconducting a study of Yemen’s promising sectors. It also includes terms of reference for local awareness campaigns to build a culture of investment as well as institutional construction plans for the GIA. An official from the GIA said that the government is seeking to revive the investment sector through realistic and practical plans now that its constraints have been lifted.
The source also said that the Authority is considering investment-related laws that would attract more investment and would provide an incentives and benefits package to encourage a competitive environment. Furthermore, promising sectors that are specified by potential investors from countries planning to establish large strategic projects will be promoted.
The Yemeni prime minister recently received a delegation of businessmen, investors and representatives from a number of Gulf companies headed by Gamal Ben Badr. The government source said that the meeting addressed the investment activities of investors and Gulf companies in Yemen. It also discussed promising opportunities that are available for strengthening and increasing these investments in the upcoming period.