Yemen to establish economic zones

07 January 2008

In a bid to encourage foreign investment, Yemen is hoping to establish two economic free zones in partnership with Saudi Arabia, one in the Hadramout’s border area of Al-Wadiah, and another in the north-eastern border area of Al-Tawal.

Development of the zones will be overseen by the Industrial Zones Department of the Ministry of Trade and Industry. It is also seeking to develop another economic zone with Oman in the border region between the two countries. Egyptian analysts are expected to finish economic studies on the project by the end of January.

The economic zones are key to encouraging foreign investment in Yemen, one of the least developed economies of the Arabian Peninsula. Tribal unrest in the country and pervasive corruption among the political elite remain deterrents to investment by foreign businesses.

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