In the light of Chinese FM visit to Sana’a,China an important partner of Yemen in trade area [Archives:2004/770/Business & Economy]

September 6 2004

Mahyoub Al-Kamaly
The Chinese foreign minister's visit to Yemen this month receives great interest and attention from the Yemeni government because China is considered among the more important partners of Yemen in trade field, according to figures pertaining to the volume of the two countries' exchange of imports and exports.
The visit aims at enhancement of bilateral relations and areas of cooperation and ways of invigorating agreements and protocols signed by the two countries in economic, trade and investment partnership. Yemen considers its relations with China as strategic one characterized by reciprocal respect. Chinese government offers its support to Sana'a in areas of infrastructure especially roads, hospitals, education and health missions. The Chinese official's visit embodies partnership existing between the two countries as China tops the list trade partners of Yemen. Official figures mention that the volume of trade exchange has during the last year climbed to YR 249.7 billion, approximately $ 1.3 billion at an increase amounting to 110% in comparison with that of 2002 when the volume of trade exchange reached at YR 118.4 billion.
The trade balance tilts in favour of Yemeni exports to China as they increased to 13.3 billion riyals in 2003 registering an increase of 142% in 2002. In 2003, Yemen's imports from China raised by 20.1% registering an increase to YR 36.4 billion compared to 30.3 billions in the previous year. Those figures indicate that the trade balance has achieved a trade surplus in favour of Yemen amounting to YR 176.9 billion.
Official statistics published by the Central Apparatus for Statistics mention that Yemeni exports to China include crude oil the value of which amounted last year to YR 210.9 billion by a rate of 98.9% of the volume of Yemeni exports, and fish at a value of 858 million riyals, in addition to other kinds of goods amounting to 40 million riyals.
As for Yemeni imports from China they include clothes for YR 4.2 billion, industrial fibers for 2.5 billions, shoes for 1.8 billions, car tires for 1.5 billions, batteries for 1.1 billion, tomato paste for one billion, beans for 690 million riyals, wood for 681 millions and other commodities valued by 20.7 billion riyals.
Yemeni-Chinese relations date back to five decades during which they have seen remarkable growth in economic, political and trade areas. The volume of trade exchange between the two countries amounted in 1994 to YR 20.7 billion, and in 1995-1996 amounted to 58.5 billions. The volume of trade exchange between the two countries jumped to 117.1 riyals and 138.3 billions in 1999 and 2000 successively.
Yemen and china has last March signed six agreements for cooperation in economic, investment, scientific and energy areas, during the visit to Peking made by the Yemeni Prime Minister. Those agreements included granting a financial aid amounting to 30 million Yuan to be allocated to programs and projects of development and another grant of easy loan the Chinese government to be offered to Yemen totaling 200 million Yuan for financing development projects in addition to an agreement on cooperation in oil and minerals. This relationship would be consolidated during the visit to Yemen by the Chinese foreign minister and in a broader manner in the future.