China: The giant of the east [Archives:2004/728/Community]

April 12 2004

By Sameer Abdul Haq
For the Yemen Times

On 28th March, 2004, His Excellency Prime Minister Abdul kader Ba Gamal had been on a cordial visit to the People's Republic of China, aiming at strengthening and developing relations between the Republic of Yemen and the People's Republic of China, so as to raise it to advanced levels based upon commercial and economic principles.
His Excellency the Premier was accompanied by a large delegation of ministers, senior officials, businessmen, which had important meetings regarding commercial and economic relations. In fact, the Chinese side has proven very responsive to the official visit of the Premier right from the beginning. The visit resulted in the signing of a number of agreements, memos of understanding and protocols in the scope of oil, gas, minerals, transformational industries, communications, information technology and development of the industrial areas, in addition to scientific research fields and investment partnership among businessmen in both countries.
The cooperation standards between Yemen and China will definitely witness substantial qualitative improvements in the near future due to the Chinese Government's seriousness in financing a number of projects in addition to investments in oil, minerals and transformational industries. China imports most of its oil from the Middle East countries and is regarded the second greatest consumer of oil in the world.
China is the giant country coming from the east towards world markets, offering its products with competitive quality and prices. It has witnessed during the past three decades gigantic economic transformations qualitatively and quantitatively without giving up the role of the state in leading the wheel of the economy and development in all fields.
China has had a unique experiment in qualifying and preparing the public sector to work within the competitive terms and mechanisms of the world market. In this regard, it conducted work within the mechanisms of the market, re-arranging its economic forces, infrastructure, and achieving the best services which could be provided to the private sector and investment in unprecedented steps. Thus, these innovative policies have brought foreign investment to China from all over the world.
In fact, China's commitment to the British terms of withdrawal from Hong Kong and leaving Hong Kong to work within the mechanisms of the market and free trade have paved the way for the Hong Kong entrepreneurs and businessmen to direct their activities toward the motherland China and its vast market through a variety of investments, creating partnerships and links in this respect.
Thus, China within the past few years has witnessed all of these economic transformations and hierarchical reforms and turned into a giant in information technology and advanced technologies, benefiting from all the advanced technologies of the world and human experiences, and working diligently and patiently to create a new system of a civilized conduct. It also combated the administrative and financial corruption that aimed at stopping or slowing down the wheel of development. The new march of China created an economic giant to occupy the first rank of the world economy during the coming years.
The visit of Prime Minister Ba Gamal included a visit to one of the advanced technological fields of science and communications called “Zhongguancun Science Park”, which is regarded as one of the seven giant advanced scientific information technology fields in China. In such a scientific scene one finds oneself amazed at the human knowledge and progress China has reached during the past few years. The great international companies benefit from this highly developed experiment so they manufacture their products based upon high technology.
In this industrial complex work 460,000 employees, of which 60% hold above postgraduate certificates. The numbers are great and cannot be rivaled.
During the meetings in the China Trade Chamber in the capital Beijing the Chinese businessmen expressed their extraordinary readiness to come to Yemen to know more about the investment opportunities, study the requirements of the market and make direct contacts with Yemeni businessmen. In fact, they had such meetings with the Yemeni side after the Prime Minister's official meetings in the China Trade Chamber had finished. The meetings were successful, promising strong understanding and partnership.
The Chinese experiment is huge and rich and it is possible to benefit greatly from its communication information technology. It is significant that the Yemeni businessmen attempt to base a Yemen-China partnership in the GSM or CDM in addition to manufacturing hardware, and this point was agreed upon during the visit. This industry will become a strategic project to manufacture iron and cast iron for the Yemeni market. If such an industry is achieved it will operate hundreds of small workshops and employ thousands of local workers. This great project will provide the market with all its requirements for tools, construction and agriculture equipment and small car spare parts.
In this sense, The World Bank and International Monetary Fund have a big role in creating a qualitative move which could be effective in raising living standards in Yemen through providing and financing such strategic factories. The concerns of the world institutions should not be on non-productive projects. They should focus on productive projects and the question is, “Can the Bank suggest such a big strategic project to the Yemeni government to coincide with its other programs which get no welcome by the Yemeni public?” We are waiting for a positive response in this respect and not justifications of a refusal.
Finally, I refer to the Chinese President's words during his reception of Prime Minister Ba Gamal, in which he praised the wise leadership of His Excellency Ali Abdullah Saleh for his administrative, economic and political approaches. The balanced, wise standpoint of our leadership provides a service to the homeland and the Yemeni citizen, which is reflected in the strengthening of bilateral cooperation between Yemen and its brothers and friends.