Bajammal: Price increase won’t exceed 7%Yemen’s debt at $5.5 billion [Archives:2005/807/Business & Economy]

January 13 2005

Mahyoub Al-Kamaly
The Yemeni cabinet has set up a ministerial committee to determine strategic projects in the minerals, gas, fertilizers, industry, and transport sectors. The committee will give special attention to planning coastal, mountainous, and desert highways to provide employment and alleviate some of the negative impacts expected from the economic reform package.

Prime Minister Abdulqader Bajammal says that the scheduled price increases will not exceed seven per cent, and maintains that the price restructuring will also bring a reduction of customs rates to five per cent, reducing smuggling and corruption, saying that “[the] economy is not sentiment but figures, hard figures.”

The Prime Minister says that Yemen has scored economic, administrative and political victory while setting an example to the world by settling a debt of around $10 billion, $7.2 billion of which was to the former Soviet Union, and about $3 billion to Europe, Japan and the International Monetary Fund.

He says that Yemen's debt has been reduced to $3 billion, which is a “spectacular” achievement, and that the country's total debt with interest is no more than $5.5 billion.

To further enhance the reform process, the government has adopted a project to modernize and develop the commercial courts in Sana'a, and the governorates of Aden, Hadramout, Taiz, and Hudeaida. The project, which is part of the general plan for reforming the commercial judiciary, aims to upgrade performance levels in various legislative, judicial, technical and auditory areas.

The Council of Ministers has also formed two other committees, one for supervising and the other to implement a project to develop statistics on external trade and Yemen's preparation to enter the world trade system.