Parts of Yemen’s economy rebounding: Welcome to Yemen, welcome to Arabia Felix [Archives:2002/51/Culture]

December 16 2002

The Yemeni government continued its endeavors in 2002 to implement the economic, financial and administrative reform programs, liberalizing its economy and removing constraints that hamper development.
It also granted the local and foreign private sectors facilities, increased the role of local communities and NGO’s, expanded the domain of democracy and political participation, integration of women into the society and it delegated more powers to local authorities.
Major economic indicators witnessed significant improvements. Prices and exchange rates stabilized, the deficit in trade balance dropped and a surplus was realized and the gross domestic product realized a growth rate of 5.5%. This was is in addition to the improvement in the atmosphere and promotion of infrastructure.
Recently, the second five-year plan for 2001-2005 was approved. The plan aims at developing sectors with relative advantages, such as fisheries, agriculture, tourism and mineral resources. It also aims at implementing a comprehensive program for controlling poverty, eliminating unemployment and training manpower. Of the same significance is the orientation of economic policy to join the World Trade Organization and integration into global economy.
Like many other countries in the world, tourism in Yemen was adversely affected by the September 11 attack on America. Yet, the government undertook a number of measures to assist the private tourism sector to surpass the crisis and mitigate consequences.
After the September 11 attack, the Yemeni government undertook a comprehensive campaign to combat terrorism and prosecute those accused of kidnapping. Those efforts resulted in stability of security and complete stop of kidnapping.
There was also implementation bu the government a security program in all Yemeni areas particularly remote areas.
There is cooperation and coordination between the Ministry of Tourism and Environment and the Ministry of Interior to implement a security plan for the safety of tourists.
A Yemeni Coast Guard Authority is now established and a national Security Council was formed.
The government continues its efforts to enhance partnerships between the public and private sectors and open broader horizons for joint international cooperation
The Yemeni government appreciates the actions of friendly states such as Germany, the UK and Italy to promote trade and service exchange between Yemen and the European Union.
The Ministry of Tourism and Environment and establishments affiliated to them are following the implementation of basic services for promotion of tourism, particularly in tourism attraction areas through surveys, studies and coordination with agencies concerned with implementation of the infrastructure.
The government gives special concern to promoting beaches, islands, and other places of environmental tourism, especially Soqotra Island that is characterized for its unique biological and environmental diversification.
Yemen Airways (Yemenia) is renovating its fleet and adding three more Boeing 737s and negotiating for two Airbus aircrafts, or two Boeing 777s.
Excavations reveal the largest historical temple of Oam at AL-Jazira area in Marib. Further excavations are being carried out in the area. The government intends to erect a tourist park in this area. There are also other archaeological discoveries in Shabwa, Hadhramout, Ibb, Hodeidah and Sa’dah governorates.
We therefore call upon European companies that engage in the field of tourism to renew their dealings with their partners in Yemen. We assure them of the existence of huge investment opportunities in certain areas with high profitability, particularly the beaches, islands and places of environmental tourism.