Investment partnership and cooperation [Archives:2007/1043/Opinion]

April 19 2007

By: Prof. Abdulaziz Al-Tarb
Yemen is making the necessary arrangements for holding the Investment Opportunity Exploration Conference in coordination with General Secretariat of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Both Yemen and GCC are working hard in order for the conference to succeed and come up with good results to enhance the progress of growing partnership between Yemen and GCC member states. Meantime, both sides bear in mind that ties between peoples and states of the Arabian Peninsula grow stronger, and that such joint factors have to be invested in order to boost solidarity and integration of the bloc member states.

If the contemporary circumstances insist on these countries, that lie in a single geographic location, to continue cooperation and interaction with one another in the economic, political, and security areas, those states will mange to overcome the difficult obstacles and globalization-related barriers in the future. Also, they will get rid of the fevers of competition between superpowers.

Since Yemen and GCC states complement each other in the economic, political, and security contexts, the interest of Yemen and other brotherly GCC states necessitates hard work to accelerate the process of economic integration via providing more investment opportunities. In addition, the interest can only be confirmed by benefiting from the experience of Singapore, one of the Asian tigers, which appeared in the early 80s of the last century as a pioneering experience in Asia. It is worth mentioning that Singapore, over the past few years, has become totally convinced of the necessity of involving the neighboring countries in its development and economic programs. Furthermore, it has transformed all of its industries to the neighboring countries due to the low wages of workforce in these countries while it remained responsible for running the business and has become able to compete with other commodities and products in terms of quality after it benefited from the bordering states.

If such an Asian experience is applied in the region, the GCC states will achieve solidarity and cooperation. This will be useful for all GCC members in order to prosper, advance, and create a better future for their generations.

Now, we are before a call to inaugurate an important national project to build and develop the country through the investment opportunities. The positive interaction with the call will be through the suggestion of projects, ideas, and thoughts in order for the conference participants to study the proposals and begin forming work teams for Yemen-Gulf partnership. Additionally, states of the region need to establish individual projects and then inaugurate the giant projects in different areas, governorates, and industrial zones.

Let's stop talking and interpret words into actions. The concerned parties for transferring words into actions are the trade chambers and their general unions. I believe that we can receive foreign investments worth $ 10 billion to be implemented between 2008 and 2010 if these chambers are serious enough to do their duties well.

Prof. Abdulaziz Al-Tarb is an economist and a professor in Political Science. He is the head of the Arab Group for Investment and Development