Economy News [Archives:2001/34/Business & Economy]

August 20 2001

YR 60.4 billion budget surplus
The Yemeni general budget registered YR 60.4 billion surplus in the first half of the current year at the rate of 8.4 percent of the gross domestic product GDP, compared to YR 79 billion surplus in the previous year.
A report issued by the Central Bank of Yemen (CBY) mentioned that the ratio of inflation decreased to 7.3 percent. Meanwhile, the reserve of the budget in the trade balance in the first quarter of the current year decreased to USD 245 million.
Ambitious plan for developing cotton cultivation
The cabinet has approved a plan for developing cotton cultivation from 2002 to 2012. Furthermore, the cabinet has earmarked YR 250 million for the Agricultural & Fisheries Promotion Fund in order to carry out this plan which aims at tripling cotton production and improving its quality. Similarly, the plan’s target is preventing any party from monopolizing cotton cultivation.
Increase in Yemeni exports
Yemeni exports rose to YR 709.7 billion, an increase of YR 456 billion compared to the previous year. On the other hand, the total amount of imports to Yemen in the previous year totalled YR 375.8 billion an increase of YR 81 billion compared to last year.
The trade balance registered a surplus of YR 283.9 billion due to the increase of Yemeni exports to overseas markets.
USD 40 billion for funding the second phase of Mareb Dam Project
The Abuthabi Fund for Development will inject fundings to implement the second phase of Mareb Dam Project, through the establishment of water sub-division channels, at an estimated cost of USD 40 million. The project aims at extending the agricultural area. The United Arab Emirates have previously implemented the first phase of the dam construction at the estimated cost of USD 90 million.
EU Allocates additional Euro 1.885 million for community projects
Although the secessionist war ended in 1994, the country still needs extensive humanitarian help, as it is partly aggravated by the current crisis. As of today, a quarter of the population lives below the poverty level and more than a third has not access to safe drinking water.
“Thus, from a humanitarian point of view, Yemen still faces the aftermath of a forgotten crisis”, emphasized Mr. Rainer J. Schierhorst, Head of the European Commission’s Office in Sana’a. “This is exactly why the European Commission’s Humanitarian Office recently allocated an additional amount of Euro 1.885 million for projects focusing on the most immediate needs of certain deprived communities in rural areas”, he continued.
The funds will be used to rehabilitate health centers, water supply schemes and access roads in Socotra. This new decision brings the amount allocated to Yemen by the European Commission’s Humanitarian Office since 1998 to some Euro 6.5 million, while the total funds allocated by the European Commission to Yemen averages some Euro 25 million per year.
Japan and Yemen signed two new agreements
Two agreements were signed at the Prime Minister’s Office between the Government of Japan and the Government of the Republic of Yemen in the presence of H. E. Mr. Abdulkader Bajammal, Prime Minister of the Republic of Yemen and Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Ms. Kaori Maruya, who arrived yesterday in Sana’a for a short visit to the Republic of Yemen to conduct discussions with Yemeni leaders, including H. E. President Ali Abdullah Saleh, H. E. Premier Abdulkader Bajammal, H. E. Foreign Minister Dr. Abu Bakr Al-Qirbi.
The two agreements were signed by Mr. Abdurahman Tarmoom, Vice Minister of Planning & Development and H. E. Mr. Masamistsu Oki, Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of Yemen.
The first agreement concerns a new Japanese grant, for the increase of food production in Yemen, amounting to Yen 500 million (equivalent to approximately USD 4 million). It is worth mentioning that Japan has supported increase of food production and agricultural development in Yemen by extending this kind of grants since 1979, for a total amount of Yen 9.700 billion (approximately USD 78 million). The Government of the Republic of Yemen has been using these annual Japanese grants to purchase agricultural equipment, pesticides and fertilizers to develop Yemen’s agriculture.
The second agreement concerns the third Japanese Dept Relief Grant Aid during this year for an amount of Yen 147.004 million (equivalent to approximately USD 1.2 million), based on the resolution made by the Trade & Development Board (TDB) of the United Nations Conference on Trade & Development (UNCTAD) to adopt debt relief measures for countries which have been facing serious difficulties in servicing their debts.
The Government of the Republic of Yemen will use this grant properly and exclusively for the purchase of products that contribute to the development of Yemen’s economy and the enhancement of the welfare of its people. Since 1979, when Yemen started to repay its Yen loans, which had financed a number of projects, Japan has provided the Republic of Yemen with grants equal to the total interest and principal repaid. In the past five years, Japan extended to Yemen debt relief grants amounting to approximately Yen 7.3 billion seven billion (equivalent to approximately USD 59 million).
New French aid to Yemen
The deputy Minister of Development and Planning and HE The French Ambassador to Yemen signed an agreement to offer Yemen new French food aid of 9125 tons of wheat flour, which is 25 percent more in comparison to the previous week, and 60 percent more in comparison to the last few years.
Every year, since 1983, France has been giving aid for food products to Yemen. Since 1992, Yemen has received 45,000 tons of flour (3000 tons of it distributed freely in Socotra island) and 500 tons of sugar. This food aid helped in financing projects development in various areas of the country.
Regarding to aid for the year 2001, a load of 700 tons of wheat (200 tons more than the previous year) will be sent to Yemen by a French freighter ship to Socotra Island and unloaded by a French Marine ship sailing from Djibouti.
The remaining amount of 8425 tons will be marketed in Aden city and its revenue will be allocated for a fund managed by the Ministry of Planning and Development and the French Embassy in Sana’a. When this revenue will be available, it will be used to finance food production development programs.
Yemen Society for Consumers’ Protection calls for boycotting American products
The Yemen Society for Consumers’ Protection (YSCP) called all Yemeni citizens for boycotting American goods and products available in the markets. The first campaign received a great response by citizens. The YSCP mentioned the following American products to be boycotted: Coca Cola drinks ( Fanta, Sprite); Pepsi (Meranda, 7’up); P& G products (Pampers, Shampoo, Bantene, Bert Plus, Head & Shoulders); soaps (Aerial, Zest, Cami, Tide;, Fair; Fix; Always; Crest paste; Oil of Poly (Jelly); chips and other imported products such as nuts and disinfectants; Johnson American Company; Mayonnaise; American rice; oil American engine; honey; TANG; salt; glue; electrical equipment (refrigerators, air-conditioners, televisions, ovens, washing machines, mixers); stationery; all kinds of cigarettes; computers; photocopiers; telephones; furniture; cosmetics; cars; insecticides; fruits; sports wear; and, all kinds of medicines. It has to be mentioned that all these products should be boycotted by all Yemenis as products of substitution are available in the markets.