Free Trade Zones
The Yemen Free Zone Public Authority was established in 1991 to develop the Aden Free Zone. Yeminvest, a joint venture between the Port of Singapore Authority (PSA) and the Bin Mohfoud Group of Saudi Arabia, was awarded the concession to develop the area. The government bought out the Yeminvest contract in October 2003 and Overseas Port Management is temporarily operating the Aden Container Terminal. In 2005, Dubai Port World (DPW) won a tender to become new operator for the Aden Container Terminal (ACT), but is awaiting approval of the bid from Parliament. Opened in September 1999, ACT logged steady growth through 2001. Since the summer of 2003, shipping insurance premiums have dropped to zero percent, as is standard in Dubai and other nearby ports. The port mainly serves as a transshipment hub, but attempts are being made to increase the percentage of the local cargo through the development of the industrial and warehousing estate.
In its first phase of development, ACT planned to handle up to one million Twenty-feet Equivalent Units (TEUs) annually on its two-berth, 700m quay. Those plans have been scaled back, and current capacity is 650,000 TEUs annually. The 35 hectare container yard can store 10,000 boxes. Yemen Ports Authority constructed a new 270meter long and 12 meter deep dock assigned for unpacking the wheat-loaded vessels. The dock will alleviate burdens of the other seven docks in the port.
An industrial and warehousing estate called Aden District Park (ADP) was launched in November 2002. The Aden Container Terminal and the Aden Free Zone are promising areas for investment. Opportunities in light industry, repackaging and storage/distribution operations are welcomed. Future plans include development of heavy industry and more extensive tourist facilities in the greater Aden area.
Free zone incentives include 100 percent foreign ownership, no personal income taxes for non-Yemenis, and a corporate tax holiday for 15 years (renewable for 10 additional years), 100 percent repatriation of capital and profits, no currency restrictions, and no restrictions on, or sponsoring required, for the employment of foreign staff. Aden’s main selling point is its strategic location – nine days steaming from Europe and seven from Singapore. It is four nautical miles off the main Far East -Europe sea route. For further information, contact: Free Zones Public Authority (AFZPA), (Main Center)
In May 2001, a new terminal at Aden International Airport was officially opened. In addition, a study was completed in August 2001 for future plans for the airport to include a duty free zone and cargo village to facilitate transit trade with the Aden Free Zone port facilities.