Saudi-Yemeni free-trade zone would benefit both countries, says business leader

Google map showing the vast Saudi-Yemeni border.
Updated 22 February 2017
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Saudi-Yemeni free-trade zone would benefit both countries, says business leader

JEDDAH: Studies indicate that the establishment of a free-trade zone between Saudi Arabia and Yemen, a project that has been put on a hold due to political unrest in Yemen, would help boost economies of the two countries, according to the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
Prior to the political turmoil that engulfed the impoverished Arab country, the two sides had been planning to establish a free-economic zone in Al-Wadeeah, Najran with the support from the private sector and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).
The SPA report quoted Dr. Abdullah Marei Mahfouz, former chief of Saudi-Yemeni Business Council, as saying that the project represented an opportunity to boost trade ties between the two countries. He said that Yemen could benefit from this project by increasing its exports of fish, fruit and vegetables.
Highlighting the importance of the proposed free-trade zone, he said that the economic city had the potential to emerge as a hub for the storing and packaging industries.
The project will also help create thousands of jobs for the youth of Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
Mahfouz predicted that commercial activities in the economic zone could reach the SR500-million mark in the first year.
According to the Council of Saudi Chambers, a free-trade zone between the two countries could also serve as a gateway for Saudi products to African countries.
Statistics indicate that the number of joint Saudi-Yemeni projects in the Kingdom is 340 and 109 in Yemen.


Scottish government wins fracking case against energy giant Ineos

Updated 19 June 2018
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Scottish government wins fracking case against energy giant Ineos

  • The devolved government said a moratorium on fracking was in place
  • neos had argued that the ban was imposed unlawfully

EDINBURGH: Scotland’s highest court has ruled in favor of a government ban on fracking which had been challenged by energy giant Ineos, the Scottish government said on Tuesday.
“This decision vindicates the extensive process of research and consultation which the Scottish government has undertaken since 2015,” Scottish business minister Paul Wheelhouse said in a statement. “Our preferred position is not to support unconventional oil and gas extraction in Scotland (fracking), and that position remains unchanged.”
The devolved government said a moratorium on fracking — gas extraction via hydraulic fracturing of the ground — was in place. That meant no local authority could grant planning permission until an impact assessment process had been carried out.
Ineos had argued that the ban was imposed unlawfully, and that it contradicted evidence that shale gas could be produced safely by unconventional methods.
Scotland decided to outlaw fracking in October after a public consultation found overwhelming opposition to it.