Joint council for Yemeni-Lebanese businessmen [Archives:2004/760/Business & Economy]

August 2 2004

An agreement for the establishment of a joint council for Yemeni and Lebanese businessmen was signed recently in Sana'a and also a protocol for cooperation between two industrial associations in the two countries. Those have aimed at enabling the private sector to play its role in developing economic and trade and investment relations between Yemen and Lebanon.
During the recent visit by the Lebanese prime minister to Yemen Rafiq al-Hariri, the two governments have signed 9 agreements, memoranda of understanding and protocols for strengthening areas of cooperation between the two countries. Those have included financial, taxation, customs, marine freight and sea affairs and goods and individuals. They also covered cooperation in areas of health, tourism and development of exports and agriculture and irrigation.
Talks of the two parties have also stressed the importance of backing up orientations of the private sector for the expansion of the scope of joint cooperation, activation of bilateral agreements, establishment of a joint bank in a manner leading to the increase in the volume of trade exchange between the two countries.
The businessmen council has been authorized to carry out studying available potentials with both sides for the achievement of the two countries interests for the growth and development of the relations of economic partnership at all levels. The volume of trade exchange between Yemen and Lebanon had in the last year amounted to around YR 803 million and 107 thousand. Yemeni imports I that period were worth round YR 577 million and 428 thousand, while the value of Yemeni exports to Lebanese markets for the same period recorded YR 225 million and 679 thousand. As a comparison, Yemen's exports to Lebanon in 2002 amounted to YR66 million and 352 thousand and value of imports from Lebanon amounted YR 659 million and 379 thousand. This shows there is a growth in value of Yemeni exports to Lebanon market though the balance of trade is still in favour of Lebanon.
For this reason, Yemen seeks for improvement of its balance of trade with Lebanon and upgrading mechanisms of bilateral cooperation, especially in areas of investments and tourism. Here the council for businessmen would undertake the responsibility for invigorating activity in those two sectors.