Moving toward WTO membership Yemen needs to export more goods [Archives:2002/50/Business & Economy]
BY MAHYOUB AL-KAMALI
YEMEN TIMES STAFF
How does Yemen’s external trade look in the light of its trade balance?
It’s a question that’s important as Yemen is preparing to join the WTO.
Minister of Industry and Trade Abdulrahman Mohammed Othman has said that Yemen has already handed over a memorandum to the WTO in Geneva on the country’s external trade systems as a step for joining it with the purpose of benefiting from the organization.
Yemeni trade structure
Yemen’s economic structure is based on a free market economy and deals with international trade with a number of elements. The main factor depends on exports of oil.
In 2000, oil revenues amounted to around $1.2 billion compared to last year’s that amounted to $1.3 billion.
The second element deals with international investments in various sectors which amount to more than YR 350 billion.
The tourism sector constitutes an important factor in informing the world about tourist sites in world markets.
Another element is increasing agricultural exports.
Yemen considers oil and gas production will change the economic – trade structure in its dealings in the world of international trade.
The Yemeni government also attaches great importance to Yemen’s excellent geographic location and its importance for international trade.
Yemen’s geographic situation would qualify it to join the WTO due to connection and interaction with regional and international navigation movement in a manner bigger that the present.
The volume of Yemen’s external trade shows a trade deficit, thus joining the WTO would help it achieve balance in its international trade.
The total volume of Yemen’s external trade in 2001 amounted to YR 194.8 billion, but YR 34.4 billion is the value of Yemen’s exports to Arab markets.
Yemen can benefit from unifying regulations and terms of imports from all countries and from the principle of non-discrimination in the world trade. Yemen also hopes to benefit from the WTO in free access to markets for all and also in removal of restraints and monopoly of information and data.
Yemen also wishes that its international trade would urge economic growth and improvement of job opportunities through attraction of investment capitals.
Therefore, Yemen has to, after presenting its memorandum to the WTO Secretariat at the European headquarters and deliberation among members, enter in multi-lateral dialogues in order to obtain membership.
Large negotiation efforts are in order for Yemen to get its WTO membership.