Poverty, privatization, exports and stock exchange Yemen prioritizes 2003 economic goals [Archives:2003/05/Business & Economy]

February 4 2003

A group of economic dossiers have been introduced to Yemen for 2003. The major ones are the work for mobilizing potentials and assistance to begin implementation of a national strategy for fighting poverty, taking further steps to complete on privatization, development of exports, and working for establishing a stock-exchange market with the aim of attracting investments and activating the tourist sector.
The poverty fighting file acquires the priority for the aggravation of its phenomena on poor and needy families and adopts a strategy supported by donor countries which includes the tackling of relevant areas:
The first is to limit the problem of unemployment, creating job opportunities and broaden the net of social safety . The second is to improve services of health sector.
The third is to solve the problem of water by building dams and barriers and rationalize the consumption of subterranean waters.
The fourth is to improve and develop education services in the elementary stage and the eradication of adult illiteracy.
The fifth is organizing reproductive health and reduce the rate of population growth.
The sixth is the establishment of technical and engineering institutes and centers for training labor on professional skills.
Scoring new growth rates in these fields is considered a test for the government before the donors who have praised the strategy concerning poverty and contributed to financing plans for social development at Paris Conference that granted Yemen $ 2.3 billion to maintain its economic reforms and combating poverty.
The government is in 2003 facing the task of finishing implementation of its program of privatizing the establishments that constitute a burden on the state general budget and to work on treating the negative results on labor at the establishments offered for sale.
Part of this program is the responsibility for evaluating what has been privatized of establishments that in 2002 included selling and liquidation of government ownership of establishments such as: overland transportation establishment, Yemeni company for drugs industry, grains establishment for external trade and the industrial complex.
On instructions of the World Bank, Yemen, through carrying out the privatization program,would be able to reduce deficit of the general budget and develop productive performance of the state establishments offered for selling and render their ownership to the private sector. The private sector would in turn work for modernizing ways of administration and machinery of factories and productive companies. It would have to solve the problem of wages of workers at those installations. The private sector should also offer social and health security for the workers and creation of new job opportunities for the unemployed.
The government has a priority in the development of external exports in the year 2003 to achieve the following benefits:
– obtaining secured revenues from non-inflationary sources,
-increasing industrial, agricultural and animal production,
-entering in trade partnership with foreign markets, especially the neighboring countries,
-finding sources for income outside oil exports which are exposed to fluctuation of oil prices in world markets.
Government sources see that the developing of exports needs attraction of domestic, Arab and foreign capitals for developing productive installations and exploitation of local resources to increase production surplus with the aim of dealing with foreign markets.
For this reason the government would, according to the investment law, offer facilities to investors in productive sectors for encouraging exports and realizing financial proceeds. But attracting capitals for investment in these sectors needs the establishment of a stock-exchange market giving them confidence in using their money and transferring their profits via a banking market.
So the government faces the task of completing its efforts for inaugurating the stock market this year to guarantee influx of capitals for investment in available opportunities in Yemen.
The success of the government in implementing these priorities would finish the most important economic files that would lead to prosperity of the society, attract capitals and improve economic performance in the country.