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Cablegate: Us Partner Chosen to Lead Influential Chamber Of

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHYN #0044 0071338
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 071338Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY SANAA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8728
INFO RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC

UNCLAS SANAA 000044

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD BEXP PREL YM
SUBJECT: US PARTNER CHOSEN TO LEAD INFLUENTIAL CHAMBER OF
COMMERCE

1. (U) On January 6, the Sana'a Chamber of Commerce and
Industry elected Hassan Al-Kbous as the Chairman of the
Chamber following the death of previous Chairman Sheikh
Mahfoudh Shammakh. Sheikh Mahfoudh Shammakh, sometimes
called the Wiseman of the Yemeni Traders, died of a heart
attack on January 1 at the age of 74. As the Chairman of the
Sana'a Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the CEO of
Shammakh Trading Group, Sheikh Shammakh was a giant of Yemeni
business. Shammakh was known for his generosity in founding
charity associations and for his activism in speaking out
against corruption. The funeral of Sheikh Shammakh was
attended by thousands, including the Foreign Minister, the
Minister of Oil and Minerals, the Chairman of the Supreme
National Authority to Combat Corruption, senior Islah
opposition leaders, and prominent business figures. ECONOFF
witnessed first hand the massive throng of well wishers at a
condolence reception.

2. (U) As the Chairman of the Sana'a Chamber of Commerce and
Industry, Shammakh was an effective partner for improving
US-Yemeni commercial relations and an advocate for government
transparency and accountability. Al-Kbous is already a key
partner of the Post Commercial/Econ section, a well-known and
respected Yemeni businessman, and a participant in an August
2007 Post-sponsored trade delegation to South Carolina.

3. (U) The Sana'a Chamber of Commerce and Industry has been
extremely supportive of Post's Econ/Commercial priorities.
The Chamber was essential in organizing the visit of the
American trade delegation that visited Yemen in December of
2006. At Post's request, the Sana'a Chamber brokered a deal
for payment of an outstanding bill of $27,000 owed to the
US-based National US-Arab Chamber of Commerce by a different
Yemeni Chamber.

COMMENT

4. (U) Post's Econ/Commercial activities have been greatly
advanced through the cooperation and support of the Sana'a
Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Post expects its excellent
relationship with the Chamber and the Yemen business
community as a whole to grow even stronger with the election
of Chairman Al-Kbous. END COMMENT
SECHE

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