Hadhramout Tourism Conference [The Source: - ] Prime Minister Mujawar inaugurating the conference
On March 26, the Tourism and Real Estate Investment Conference was conducted in Al-Mukalla city, the capital of Hadhramout governorate. The conference was organized by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Hadhramout with cooperation from the General Investment Authority (GIA), and with funding from prominent businessman Abdullah Buqshan. Over one thousand participants attended the event, including Yemeni businessmen from inside and outside Yemen, businessmen from the Gulf Cooperative Council countries, 14 Arab and regional countries, as well as many of Al-Mukalla’s residents.
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Hadhramout organized the conference with the aim to draw the attention to tourist and real estate investments in the governorate in particular, in addition to investment opportunities in other areas of the country as well, through presenting a number of projects and providing key information about them and the requirements for conducting such projects. Overall, Twenty-seven projects and were presented among are projects for operating commercial harbors, constructing the free economic area in Al-Wadeea’, housing and tourists projects along with other projects. The province of Hadhramout had the lion’s share of 15 projects, three for Socotra island, six for Al-Mahara and three for Shabwa. Other investment opportunities were also presented, including 13 background papers for projects in agriculture, livestock development, fisheries, as well as minerals.
The conference was inaugurated by prime minister Ali Mohammad Mujawar, who praised the conference, and referred to the possibilities opened by last year’s investment opportunities conference, and the following strategic investments mostly in real estate and tourist fields with an estimated cost of 2.5 billion dollars distributed on ten strategic projects from Emirati, Qatari, Saudi, and Egyptian companies.
The Prime Minister confirmed that support
Eng. Abdullah Ahmed Buqshan honorary president of Hadramout Chamber of Commerce.
Investment is considered one of the main interests of the government and presented some procedures that were carried out by the government:
- Providing parallel development among governorates.
- Enhancing empowering the local councils.
- Fostering investment opportunities between Yemen and the Gulf Cooperative Council countries.
- Improving correct ruling through legislating tendering law.
- Fighting corruption through practical steps such as forming the anti-corruption committee.
- Facing development challenges through providing space to investment projects from the gulf countries, Arab and foreign ones in various economic sectors in order to facilitate Yemen’s integration with the Gulf Cooperative Council countries.
He also added that those measures and reformations are the true translation for the government’s trends in enhancing partnership and laying down the results of the donors’ conference conducted by the end of 2006 to reach expected goals. He confirmed his interest in providing an encouraging and motivating investment environment and that the government has done many reformations such as:
- Setting an investment profile which is under the direct supervision from the Republic’s presidency.
- Implementing the one window system that lets the GIA practice its role and making it the sole responsible for investments so that no overlapping or duplicity in providing power.
- Activating the role of commercial courts.
- Establishing monetary markets.
During the conference, a number of discussion sessions were conducted between the Yemeni officials and investing businessmen. These sessions were very open from the part of the investors in which they presented the problems in the investment process, some of which were tackled by the government and o
A site of the audience Arab and Yemeni businessmen.
thers are still a challenge such as:
- Fragile role of the judiciary in solving conflicts.
- Unavailability of real estate records that proves the ownership of the lands for the owners.
- Land robbery and practicing power terror in order to steal them and claim owning them despite the huge projects constructed on them.
- Lack of readiness from the industrial areas with infrastructure necessary for the investment process.
- Unavailability of skilled labor.
One of the businessmen presented commented saying, “we are not seeking complements; we want to help our brothers in the country. Therefore, we wish the government and the General Investment Authority to keep being truthful as we have seen in this conference because if the government fails in fulfilling its promises and shows incapability in fighting corruption especially that resulted from those who stole large lands in Hadhramout and the appearance of another land owners after buying them unfairly and therefore getting into conflicts instead of investing. If we felt that promises are fulfilled and that investment is safe in this country, we will be part of marketing investment not only in Hadhramout but in all the Republic’s governorates.”
Abdullah Buqshan, the funder of this conference, expressed his comfort regarding the success of it and interaction among businessmen and the presence of about a thousand one representing fourteen countries. He noted that if some of the conference recommendations are implemented, it would be a success we would be proud of.
Among the main outcomes of the conference is the request made by a number of companies and businessmen to implement projects and open investment opportunities highlighted in the conference such are Al-Mukalla harbor in which two companies offered to implement it; one Malaysian and another subsidiary of Buqshan Group and Dubai harbors.
Five housing projects were presented; four in Hadhramout
One of the investment projects which is Al-Rayan Residential City owned by Tadhamon International Islamic Bank.
and one in Al-Mahara. Saudi and Imarati companies requested to implement two housing projects for low-income people in Al-Ghail city in the governorate.
Mr. Fahd Al-Sultan, the general security for the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Council in Saudi Arabia talked about the procedures that Saudi Arabia has adopted as part of the commercial and industrial cooperation between the two countries and opening new windows and some intentions for constructing free economic areas between the two countries. He also said,” I think this conference has brought about new opportunities in real estate and tourist investment. I call upon businessmen in the gulf and Arab countries in general and Saudi Arabia in particular to invest in Yemen.
He added that, “after conducting many studies, we found out that the more we support exportation, the more we contribute in attracting investment and this is an economic fact.’’ He also assured the raising of the Yemeni exportations rate to Saudi Arabia.
“Saudi and Yemeni governments are seeking to raise commercial exchange between them through constructing free economic areas shared on their borders. I want to confirm that two day ago I met the general manager of the customs In Saudi Arabia and he told me that four ports were opened on the Yemeni borders and they were equipped with the latest technologies in inspection instead of traditional inspection to make sure that Yemeni exportations are intact.’’