The distinguished political relations between Yemen and Russia must be reflected at the level of economic relations and investment, said Sallah Mohamed Said al-Attar, Chairman of the General Authority for Investment. He called on Russian businessmen to invest in the energy field in Yemen, which is suffering from a large deficit.
“We must exploit the surge of financial power in Russia and due to the high prices of oil and gas invite Russian companies to work in Yemen,” said al-Attar during a meeting with a delegation of Russian businessmen.
Al-Attar said that the production of electrical power in Yemen would reach 1600 megawatts after a second electrical station in Marib has been opened which will produce 320-400 megawatts. Electricity gas stations will be established with a capacity of up to 800 megawatts, and there is a government direction to build five lines of liquefied gas from Marib to Ma’abar providing energy production.
The government discussed a study for the establishment of a wind-powered electrical plant to produce 100 megawatts, al-Attar said, adding that “it has allocated 5 trillion cubic feet of liquefied natural gas for power generation.”
Al-Attar pointed out that the government has implemented its five-year plan for more private sector participation in the domestic and foreign economic and social development process, and for their increased engagement in infrastructure projects and the establishment of industrial zones.
Yemen encourages more Russian investment in industrial zones, said Ali al-Saiyaghi, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, at the end of talks with Russian businessmen last Monday. The meeting discussed the mechanisms of creating real partnerships between Yemen and Russia, and the benefits to Russia of the promising investment opportunities available in Yemen.
In the opening session of the previously held Yemeni-Russian Businessmen’s Forum, Dr. Yahya al-Mutawakel, Minister of Trade and Industry, said that Yemen is looking forward to enhancing trade and investment relations between the two countries. “In spite of signing several trade agreements between the two countries since the early part of the past century, the volume of trade cooperation has not reached targeted levels,” he said. The volume of the trade exchange between Yemen and Russia is not more than YR50 million. Al-Mutawakel said that the forum reflects a serious desire of the private sectors in both countries to realize a partnership which serves the interests of both peoples.
Industrial zones have great potential to be attractive to investors, said undersecretary of Trade and Industry Abdul-Elah Shaiban. Shaiban showed Russian businessmen the designations and schedules of 11 industrial zones to be set up in the different provinces.
The Russian delegation hailed the investment opportunities in Yemen and looked forward to being involved in joint investment projects in various fields. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov pointed to the political will to enhance ties between the two countries. In his message to the forum, Lavrov expressed hopes that the forum would realize its goals. The Russian ambassador to Sana’a said that he hoped that the forum would boost trade and investment relationships, and highlighted historical ties between the two countries.
On a sideline of the forum, a cooperation protocol was signed between businessmen councils from both countries, with the General Union for Commercial and Industrial Chambers and Russian Businessmen’s Association signing cooperation agreements as well.
The aim of the forum was to establish a direct communication line between the government and businessmen in both countries and discuss the possibilities of setting up joint investment projects in the fields of oil, gas, transport and other promising areas.