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Agricultural production is the single most important contributor to Yemen’s economy, presenting investors with the greatest potential for development in the Arabian Peninsula. Accounting for 20% of the country’s GDP and 58% employment, Yemen’s agricultural sector enjoys the benefits of abundant, experienced low cost labor (average income USD $90/month), a vibrant local market and strong cash crop production. According to the IMF, Yemen averaged a 5.5% non hydrocarbon growth rate per annum between 2004 and 2008, much of it driven by agriculture (World Bank 2009)  The country’s temperate climate and particularly heavy rainfall in its western highlands region (1500mm/year) also contribute to its advantageous 1.5 million hectares of arable land, a unique quality in an otherwise dry corner of the world. Most recent statistics (2000) indicate that up to 90% of water use and rainfall in Yemen is dedicated to the agricultural sector (Food and Agriculture Organization [FAO] Statistical Yearbook 2009).  Investment opportunities in the agricultural sector show great promise for interested investors. Internationally, Yemen’s export values doubled from USD $66 million in 2000 to USD $125 million in 2007, beating out Iraq, Kuwait, and Qatar by margins of up to 7 to 1 (FAO Statistical Yearbook 2009). Key agricultural exports include milk and eggs, fish and crustaceans, bananas, wheat bran, dry onions and green coffee; imports focus on wheat, refined sugar, milled rice, chicken meat, palm oil and maize. Investors have also been attracted to Yemen’s domestic market. Its growing population of 23 million inhabitants – whose diets favor carbohydrates (wheat, maize, rice), proteins (poultry, bovine meat, sheep and goat), oils (vegetable and palm), sweeteners (sugar) and whole milk – present investors with the possibility of producing solely for domestic consumption. In terms of production, Yemen yields key produce such as mango, sorghum, whole cow milk, grapes, tomatoes and eggs. Other highly harvested crops include watermelons, bananas, oranges, onions and wheat. The highest growth sector has been in processed and packaged snack foods.
Key Strengths: In addition to its large local market, unique arable lands and economically competitive experienced labor market, Yemen provides more key strengths contributing to its already attractive agricultural sector. These include:

  • Government enacted policies focused on increasing productivity through more efficient irrigation, enhanced and better regulated use of fertilizers and pesticides, and strengthened marketing, research veterinary and extension services.
  • Public policy promoting trade, open markets, facilities to help increase export volumes and the advancement of farming and livestock breeding.
  • Numerous local agricultural associations capable of providing support and direction.

Current Successful Project in the Agricultural Sector

Name of Project owner or Company Investment (USD) Location
Increasing Seeds Aggreko Yemen Co. Ltd. for Agricultural Products 5,960,591 Sana’a
Agricultural Exports Preparation Center The cooperation Azan’s Assembly 1,190,497 Sana’a
The Fruit and Vegetable Production Trading Center Trance East Andosit Group Co. 312,500 Sana’a

Total: 7,463,588 $

GIA can help: The agriculture sector in Yemen has great potential for growth and even greater potential for investment. GIA will help investors learn more about industry opportunities and, when applicable, establish contact with the various Yemeni institutions and associations responsible for agricultural management and growth including the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, Agricultural Research and Extension Authority, the Cooperative and Agricultural Credit Bank and the Ministry of Fish Wealth. For further information on opportunities in agriculture, please contact GIA’s sector expert in the field:

Name Mr. Raji A. Bassaid
Position Head of the Services & Agriculutural Sector
Language Arabic
Tel 967 1 434455
Fax 967 1 434314


With increasing fish catches and rising global demand, Yemen’s fisheries sector provides investors a clear business case for consideration. Investment in the sector in decades past has already contributed to raising the value of fish exports from $33 million in 1996 to $213 million in 2004. Financial returns for the end of 2010 should exceed USD $500 million. Of all the countries in and around the Arabian Peninsula endowed with a coast, Yemen has in terms of production been the most successful.  The country’s unique strategic location allows its fisheries sector to reap the wealth of two plentiful seas – the Arabian Sea on its extended southern border and the Red Sea to its west, each with its own set of advantages. The Arabian Sea is only 1 of 6 Large Marine Ecosystems (LME) in the world to have reported relatively constant or increased landings in past decades, the rest have demonstrated clear declines. Numbers recorded since the 1950s have in fact shown a steady positive trend both in tonnage as well as dollar value. Of those species most prominently caught in the Arabian Sea and its more proximate Gulf of Aden are tunas, bonitos, billfishes, herrings, sardines and anchovies (FAO 2003, NOAA 2010).

The Arabian Sea by volume and revenue since 1950
Source: NOAA (2010). Yemen’s neighboring Red Sea has also shown potential for investors. Rich particularly in rock-lobster and yellowfin tuna, Yemen and Somalia’s catch percentage grew by 60% from 1990 to 1999 to just over 80,000 tons.
Key Strengths:In addition to its unique positioning, Yemen provides other key strengths contributing to its attractive fisheries sector. They include:

  • Yemen’s ports in Aden and Hodeidah for shipment to regional and international markets
  • A wide coast, approximately 2500 kilometers in length
  • More than 160 Yemeni islands for fishing operations around the year
  • High quality marketable marine life and fish species
  • Strong global demand for fisheries product exports
  • Abundant, experienced low cost labor (competitive income of USD $180/month)
Investment Opportunities in Aquaculture
Aquaculture also presents a significant opportunity for interested investors, with shrimp being its main product. The industry has a strong domestic market, especially in hotels and restaurants, and caters to international clients in Europe, East Asia and the USA. Fisheries and aquaculture related activities are positioned as a key generator of foreign earnings through exports and will play a key role in the country’s future development plans (FAO 2003). Musallam Group, established in Yemen in 1965, has one of the largest aqua farms operating off its coast. It is only one of several high profile projects currently active.
Current Successful Projects in the Fisheries Sector
Name of Project Owner or Company Cost (USD) Location
Mosallem’s Farmlands for
Marine Biology
Abdullah Akeel Musallem 4,922,314 Al Hodeidah
Al Hada’a Expansion for Marine Biology Al Hada’a Company for Marine Biology 1,005,434 Al Mahrah
Preparation, Refrigeration and Marketing for Fish Al Lualoah Co. Ltd, For Fish 2,210,190 Hadramout
Al Jambary’s Product Farm Khaleb Ali Mohammed Sowaidan 2,210,190 Taiz

Total: 10,399,244 $

GIA can help The fisheries sector in Yemen has great potential for growth and even great potential for investment. GIA will help investors learn more about industry opportunities and, when applicable, establish contact with the various Yemeni institutions and financial arrangements responsible for fisheries management, monitoring, statistics, training and credit in the country – the Ministry of Fish Wealth, the Department of Inspection and Control, the Marine Science and Resources Research Center, the Fisheries Training Institute and the Co-operative and Agricultural Credit Bank, respectively. For further information on opportunities in fisheries, please contact GIA’s sector expert in the field:

Name Mr. Raji A. Bassaid
Position Head of the Services & Agriculutural Sector
Language Arabic
Tel 967 1 434455
Fax 967 1 434314


The transport sector has, since the turn of the century, seen notable progress in airport, seaport, and road infrastructure. All were developed to link businesses and people domestically and internationally particularly because of their vital importance in supporting each and every economic activity.

Key Strengths of Air Transport Sector

  • Airports meet modern international classifications, standards and requirements through the use of enhanced technical capacities and first-class equipment.
  • Air control centers constructed with five satellite communication terminals.
  • Serviced by 13 international and 2 domestic airlines flying to 6 international airports and 44 feeder airports strategically scattered throughout the country.
  • The existence of 14 international and 26 local routes opened up to link African states with Southeast Asia and Gulf States through Sana’a Aviation Region.

Key Strengths of Road Transport Sector

  • A well established road network comprised of 10,000 km of all-weather asphalt highways, 3,200 kilometers of gravel roads and nearly 60,000 km of dirt roads currently outside of the network.
  • A strategic road network linking domestic governorates with international junctions to Saudi Arabia and Oman via the coastal strip.
  • Abundant, experienced low cost labor for the movement of supplies (competitive income of approximately USD $135/month)
  • Low cost of fuel in Yemen for road transport.

Key Strengths of Maritime Transport Sector

  • Geographic strategic advantage connecting Yemen to international shipping lines.
  • Continuous expansion and development of the Aden Port & Free Zone.
  • Yemen’s extended 2500km long coastline is populated and serviced by 7 ports: Aden, Mukalla, Nishton, Hodeidah, Mocha, Ras Issa, Salif.

Top Projects & Companies:

Project  Name Company / Owner Cost (USD) Location
Domestic Air Cargo and Transport Felix Airlines Ltd 260,516,482 Sana’a
Tourism Surface Transport Al Namer’s Ltd., Co., for Surface Transport 1,335,025 Sana’a
Tourism Surface Transport Amir’s Ltd. Co. For Yemeni And International Transport 7,364,130 Sana’a
Domestic Surface Transport-Cars Salem Bagersh and his Children’s Corporation 1,080,959 Sana’a
Heavy Equipments, Goods Transport and Others Abdulbari Asharjabi and His Partners 1,865,000 Sana’a
Domestic and International Surface Transport-Buses Safer Co., Ltd., for Surface Trips 3,905,000 Sana’a

Total: $ 276,066,59

GIA can help: The transport sector in Yemen has great potential for growth and even greater potential for investment. GIA will help investors learn more about industry opportunities and, when applicable, establish contact with the various Yemeni institutions responsible for its growth, including The Ministry of Transport. For further information on opportunities in manufacturing, please contact GIA’s sector expert in the field. GIA’s Sector Expert and Contact Details:

Name Mr. Raji A. Bassaid
Position Head of the Services & Agriculutural Sector
Language Arabic
Tel 967 1 434455
Fax 967 1 434314


Accounting for 92% of exports and 30% of GDP, Yemen’s oil sector is by far its most vital. As of January 1, 2010 Yemen had 3 billion barrels of proven reserves (Source: Oil and Gas Journal), and plans for new sites and exploration have only intensified. In September 2009 Yemen’s Petroleum Exploration and Production Authority evaluated 9 new oil discoveries in 7 fields; it expects new oil discoveries in 42 other oil sectors in the 2010 to 2015 period. Currently, Yemen’s oil reserves and production are located in 5 main geographic areas: Jannah and Iyad in central Yemen, Ma’rib-Jawf in the north, and Shabwa and Masila in the south. All production comes from 2 main sedimentary basins, Marib/ Shabwah and Say’un/Masila, out of a total of 12 basins believed to hold reserves.

Fuel exports in Yemen demonstrate the industry’s market dominance
Prices and markets
Market prices favored the oil industry in 2010. Oil revenues in the first five months of the year rose sharply to USD $1.132 billion from USD$483.24 million for the same period in 2009. January-May exports also increased, amounting to 14.46 million barrels or a 40 percent increase from a year earlier. (Source: Central Bank of Yemen, 2010).
China and India are the main export markets for Yemeni crude and, in 2008, Asian countries accounted for 76 percent of the country’s exports. 15 percent was exported to Arab countries and the rest to separate regions (US Energy Information Administration, 2010).
Key Strengths:
In addition to its very important and uniquely central position at the top of Yemen’s economy, the oil sector provides more key strengths contributing to its already attractive investment environment. These include:
  • Favorable production sharing agreements with contractual parties
  • Abundant, experienced labor collecting a competitive income of USD $160/month
  • Strong global demand for petroleum energy, particularly amongst its current Asian partners
  • Sound infrastructure, international private sector presence, and full government support
  • High capacity terminals and pipelines in Ash Shihr, Bir Ali and Rass Issa

Top International Energy Companies Currently Operating Out of Yemen

safer E&P Operations

Dove Energy Ltd.

Calvalley Petroleum Ltd.

Oil Search Middle East

ENI Energy

Total E&P Yemen

Korean Natl Oil Co.


CCC Yemen

Epsilon Energy Ltd

Jannah Hunt Oil Co.

Occidental Petroleum

Gallo Oil Yemen Inc.



DNO Yemen

Canadian nexen Yemen

MOL Yemen Inc.

Midas for Oil and Gas

Kuwait Energy

GIA can help: The oil sector in Yemen is a well established lucrative industry for investors to consider. GIA will help investors learn more about oil related opportunities and, when possible, establish contact with the various Yemeni institutions, associations and corporations responsible for energy management and growth. These include: the Ministry of Oil and Minerals, the Yemen Petroleum Company, the Petroleum Exploration and Production Authority and the Yemen Refining Company. For further information on oil opportunities, please contact GIA’s sector expert in the field: For further information on oil opportunities, please contact GIA’s sector expert in the filed:

Name Mr. Mohammad Al-Farzaiy
Position Head of the Industrial Sector
Language Arabic
Tel 967 1 434325
Fax 967 1 434314