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IFC and Ministry of Oil and Minerals Reform Yemen’s Mining Policy Framework


In Cairo:
Sammar Essmat
Phone: + (202)4619140

Riham Mustafa
Phone: + (202)4619140

In Sana’a:
Saad Sabrah


Phone: + (967- 1) 413 708 / 710

Sana’a, 6 September 2006— The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank, today signed an agreement with Yemen’s Ministry of Oil and Minerals, to strengthen the country’s framework for mining policy. The project aims to increase the private sector development of high-value minerals industries.

Managed by PEP-MENA, IFC’s technical assistance facility in the Middle East and North Africa, the project will help review and reform Yemen’s mining laws, regulations, and fiscal regime. The project team will also map and redesign the sector’s administrative procedures, develop a National Mining Policy, and review the Geological Survey and Minerals Resources Board.

Syed Gulrez Hoda, IFC’s manager of the project, noted, “Yemen’s mining sector has outstanding potential. An improved policy framework will help attract new investment and improve the country’s economy.”

Yemen’s mineral legislation and draft regulations reflect the government’s desire to liberalize the industry, but the country does not have a comprehensive mining policy. The current fiscal regime leaves Yemen in a less favorable position versus other mining countries, and administrative practices to obtain licenses, permits, and approvals are not standardized. Attracting major mining companies requires an overall framework, with clear definitions of what private investors can do, what the operating conditions are, and what the requirements are for establishing operations.

The one-year project follows upon a workshop organized by PEP-MENA in collaboration with IFC’s Oil, Gas, Mining, and Chemicals Department in December 2005.  The workshop displayed international best practices in mining.

PEP-MENA is IFC’s technical assistance facility that supports private sector development in the Middle East and North Africa. PEP-MENA focuses on improving the business enabling and regulatory environment; strengthening the financial sector; promoting the growth of small and medium enterprises and their support services, such as business organizations and consulting firms; helping restructure and privatize state-owned enterprises; and developing viable private sector and public-private partnership projects, especially in infrastructure.

The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, is the largest multilateral provider of financing for private enterprise in developing countries. IFC finances private sector investments, mobilizes capital in international financial markets, facilitates trade, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to businesses and governments. From its founding in 1956 through FY06, IFC has committed more than $56 billion of its own funds for private sector investments in the developing world and mobilized an additional $25 billion in syndications for 3,531 companies in 140 developing countries. With the support of funding from donors, it has also provided more than $1 billion in technical assistance and advisory services. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.