The “New”” Red Sea region: Development strategy [Archives:2003/690/Business & Economy]”

December 1 2003

By Irena Knehtl
[email protected]
For The Yemen Times

The aim of the Hodeidah initiative is to bring people, specifically businesses and organizations of the region together, and provide added value to both people and businesses. It also aims to provide a solid base for a future regional and local system to be created during the next decade.
But this will be only possible if littoral states will overcome their weakness and consolidate economic, political and strategic cooperation. Such cooperation would not only foster peace and stability in the area, but will also increase the prosperity and welfare of the peoples of the area.
The Red Sea region should look to their own interest down the path of regional cooperation and seek out new qualities in their relationship and cooperation. Foreign policies should be geared for maximum flexibility in the global economy in order to connect local needs with global resources.
Such policies should be aimed at economic growth and employment opportunities, sustainable development models through mobilization of resources.
Today two distinct worlds, the traditional and modern, prevail in every sphere of the region's life, including scientific and technological. These two worlds will have to come closer and pool their talents and resources together to improve the lives of people and make countries and their economies stronger and healthier.
To focus the attention not just on the products of technologies, but also the materials, processes, knowledge, skills and organization.
Matters relating to airlines, shipping, satellite communications, banking and tourism, deep sea mining, wave tidal energy from the sea, or working out economics of electricity production or in searching out regional economic similarities in the area of market for goods, cooperative industrial and resource development and regionally generated investment funds are equally strong arguments for regional cooperation.

Promising or uncertain future?
The Arabian Peninsula Seas contain two of the most important strategic waterways in the world: Bab alMandab and Strait of Hormuz. Without them much of the geopolitics of the Horn of Africa and South West Asia would make little sense. Approximately 10 percent of Europes oil supplies passes through Bab AlMandab which is in the territorial waters of Yemen, Djibuti, and Eritrea. Of these, Yemen is well placed to exercise direct control of the shipping lanes.
Observes Slovak academic Slavomir Janacik: ” The Sea will further gain in its importance. After completing the enlargement of the European Union