Press Releases

IFC Helps Simplify Business Start-Up Procedures in Yemen

In Cairo:
Egidio Germanetti
Tel: (+ 202) 461 9150

Riham Mustafa
Tel: (+ 202) 461 9150

In Sana’a:
Saad Sabrah
Tel: (+967-1) 413 708 / 710

Sana’a, July 18, 2006 - The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank, today signed an agreement with the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, to simplify business start-up procedures in Yemen. The project will be implemented by PEP-MENA, IFC’s technical assistance facility in the Middle East and North Africa.

IFC will support the government at the national and subnational levels in simplifying business start-up procedures to minimize obstacles for private investors. The main goal is to reduce the costs and time needed for business registration in Yemen, hence encouraging local and foreign investment.  The project will be rolled out in Sana’a to ensure compliance with national policy and will start with a pilot in Aden. IFC’s PEP-MENA facility will work closely with the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the General Investment Authority of Yemen, the Free Zone Authority, and the Governorate of Aden.

Jesper Kjaer, General Manager of IFC PEP-MENA noted, "This project will support the country's new National Agenda for Reform, which emphasizes the importance of improving the investment climate for local and international investors."

Yemen’s economic performance has been reasonably strong, with an average GDP growth of 5.8 percent during 1995-2003. In recent years the government has carried out a series of critical reforms geared toward strengthening the growth potential of the country’s private sector.  However, according to the Doing Business Report 2006, published jointly by IFC and the World Bank, Yemen ranks 90 out of 155 countries on the ease of doing business, and ranks 151 in terms of starting a business. The country has an advantageous geographic position, with good deep-sea ports and excellent mineral resources, but the vast majority of enterprises remain hidden in the informal sector with limited growth potential. Yemen’s government is trying to address these challenges through improved legislation. It is also attempting to provide simplified business services through the General Investment Authority of Yemen.

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 is the private sector arm of the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C.  IFC coordinates its activities with the other institutions of the World Bank Group but is legally and financially independent.  Its 178 member countries provide its share capital and collectively determine its policies.

The mission of IFC is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. Since its founding in 1956 through FY05, IFC has committed more than $49 billion of its own funds and arranged $24 billion in syndications for 3,319 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY05 was $19.3 billion for its own account and $5.3 billion held for participants in loan syndications. For more information, please visit: