The 17th Anniversary:Yemen’s economic reform program & Gulf Countries’ political and economic vanity [Archives:2007/1054/Opinion]

May 28 2007

Anees Al-Najjar
On May 22, 1990, the Republic of Yemen was created as a result of the merger of the previous states, the North Part and the South Part of Yemen. This event signified the economic, monetary, social, political, and spiritual union between the two parts once separated. Now Yemen has become one, occupying a strategic location which is now undeniably crucial in terms of adding to the security and welfare of the region.

Talking about modern Yemen, the economic and political instability that modern Yemen has been facing for the past seventeen years (since the establishment of the unity) has been the main impediment as to why Yemen is not on par with the Gulf countries in terms of economic and technological advancement. Yemen could be better off had it been economically stable.

To reiterate, the economic backwardness of the country, scarcity of human capital, and technology that Yemen is undergoing can never be attributed to the fact that Yemenis are not competent enough to steer the ship into safe harbor; on the contrary, Yemenis have been known as men of genius and wisdom. What the prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) said about Yemenis (faith is Yemeni and wisdom is Yemeni) must give Yemenis the incentive that they will overcome all the obstacles and restore their glory one day. It is only a question of time.

Given the opportunity (I mean the opportunity not as either , or , the opportunity that demonstrates the real fraternity of the Gulf countries towards Yemen) I am sure that Yemen will prove a leading example in terms of the implementation of the Economic Reform Program in the hope of achieving full development.

To prove that, the enthusiasm and determination on the part of our President himself in facilitating investing in Yemen and offering the guarantees for both domestic and international investors is indicative of the genuine desire of Yemen to get rid of the current situation it is undergoing. Yemen does provide different investment opportunities for foreign companies. Besides, the government's policy of opening up the economy and liberalizing import controls, in co-operation with a stable political climate, has encouraged international investors to take a new approach to the possibilities of this emerging market.

It is not only that, but Yemen has also streamlined its investment law and procedures in an attempt to attract more foreign investment, Gulf investment in particular in the hope of strengthening the relationship between Yemenis and the Gulf peoples. Yemen is doing its best to attract more investors to its soil by tackling the weakness of judiciary system, by giving it more force, especially by improving the performance and operation of the local commercial courts.

Furthermore, Yemen's ambition in upgrading enterprises to make them able to cope with such competitive environment shows its genuine will to vie with other countries at an international level. Some might say that Yemen has embarked very late on economic and investment reforms, forgetting that Yemen started earlier, and the reforms that Yemen is undertaking seriously nowadays at different levels have come up due to Yemen's recognition of the importance of opening up to the world and also its awareness of the fact that “weak”” nations have no place today in such a competitive world