The Aden Free Trade Zone Authority reported that 490 new investment projects, valued at nearly $419 million, were licensed by the zone during the first half of 2001. Most projects were registered in the fields of manufacturing, industry and services, according to the Yemen news agency SABA.
The zone's chairman of the board, Dirham Naaman, stated that the newly authorized plants would be established within the framework of the free zone’s second industrial phase, which extends the zone’s area to 4.799 million square meters. Naaman added that 156,747 cargo containers were unloaded at the Aden Container Terminal during the same period.
This past January, nearly 780 requests were submitted to launch new investment projects in the Aden free zone. Approximately 1,200 new jobs are expected to be created with the launch of these projects.
In a bid to transform Aden into Yemen's commercial capital, the government initiated the $580 million project in 1993, providing for the restoration of the port of Aden and construction of an international container terminal and transhipment hub, as well as a modern industrial free-zone.
The free zone's incentives include exemption from tax on profits for 15 years with a possible extension for a further ten years, encouragement of 100 percent foreign ownership, and free transfer of capital and profits outside the Aden Free Zone without exchange controls.
The Aden Free Zone is being developed by Yeminvest, under a contract signed by the government in 1996. Yeminvest is 49 percent owned by the Port of Singapore Authority and 51 percent by a private company, Yemen Holdings Ltd.
In April, Yemen’s Minister of Industry and Trade Abdul Rahman Muhammad Ali Othman, stated, as cited by SABA, that preparations are underway for establishing three additional major industrial zones in the country. The minister said that the projects would be funded mainly by the private sector. — (MENA Report)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )