Yemen and the Gulf [Archives:2006/1008/Opinion]
Dr. Ahmed Ali Abdulillah
It is very well-known that the Gulf Arab states are presently living through the second price leap of oil products and it may take on a larger significance than the first one that happened as a result of ramifications of the October 1973 war and led to the big rise in oil revenues of the Arab oil exporting countries. That price change also resulted re-structuring the oil industry so that the full control of oil production returned to its legitimate owners.
Presently we are facing a new scene of a Gulf entity truly considered as a dividing line between two periods of time. Looking at the region as an integrated regional system, Yemen, which occupies a strategic position in the Arabian Peninsula and overlooks the major sea outlets as well as its possession of a land entertaining geological, geographic and environmental diversity, is qualified to be a strong country in the future with the various resources.
Unlike the neighboring countries Yemen is still new in its development of a petroleum industry and with limited production because the industry started five years later than neighboring countries because of political circumstances. The establishment of the united Yemen was the real beginning of the exploration of petroleum. Although oil production remained dependent on two main areas because of scarcity of digging operations and competition of companies on the areas neighboring the producing areas, but the coming years we will witness unprecedented intensity in digging operations covering vast geographical areas as well as places far and from the areas of the present production. We are standing before an operation of discovery of new oil and gas reserves and by continuing these works Yemen will witness new oil and gas discoveries successive throughout the coming decades.
There are spacious horizons for oil and gas investment in the Yemeni petroleum sector. In addition, the mountains, plateaus and valleys possess big stocks of industrial materials, construction materials and mineral wealth. All these resources give Yemen an advanced position as a country with abundant resources and the basic conditions to establish large economic activities for continuous local growth that can spread into international markets.
If other sectors are considered it can be said that Yemen is a country of tourism possessing the flavor of history and social originality and its diversified geography provides a large-scale space for tourist industry with all of its forms. Yemen is also an agricultural country possessing diversified crops and fish wealth.
Regarding the strategic aspect, Yemen with its history, location, people, culture and political weight is qualified to continuously remain a fundamental and important player in the balance of growth. Yemen's growth and stability is an essential and vital condition for the growth and stability of the region's countries and with all its characteristics represents an economic and strategic depth, “the political and security aspect” and an important exporter of various human and natural resources.
Yemen, as a large country in the region and as a developing country, possesses an ability to attract investment in infrastructure, petroleum, agriculture, tourism, free zones, fish and services. It entertains absolute preference in attracting Gulf capital to achieve common benefits and ensuring movement of the monetary liquidity of the states and private companies in large projects in a close geographical area considered a vital part of the Arabian Peninsula.
The Gulf realizes these facts and also that the future will not be complete unless Yemen is part of the movement and growth. And far from politics and brokerage in economic analyses and whatever subjective and objective circumstances Yemen has to deal seriously and consciously with all details of growth.
We have with all our political spectra to stand on one ground called the higher interest of Yemen, considering that politics is the management of interests and protection of sovereignty. We need the institutional economic thought to draw up the breadlines for the comprehensive planning for development based on assessment of needs and the human, natural and economic resources. We have to set up the scientific and realistic frame a multilateral development process on the backdrop of geographical and historical unity of the peoples of the Arabian Peninsula and unity of interests and destinies Yemen has to draw up its economic policies to deal with neighboring countries. It has to attract investment and capital in development projects out of reciprocal benefits and interests and with the aim of achieving economic integration as the actual and more concrete bond that comes above any political differences.
After Yemen overcomes all its internal political files and bolder questions and begins practicing the democratic approach with more openness and transparency and proves its ability in dealing with regional and international variables Yemen has reached the line of pushing forward towards the real development. It has to count its various resources particularly the human resources and has to build a structure for its economic basis capable of dealing with requirements of the future.
Source: Al-Thawra daily newspaper