Yemen and The Indian Ocean League A Serious Orientation to Accelerate Economic, Commercial and Investment Cooperation [Archives:2001/14/Business & Economy]

April 2 2001

Yemen will participate in the ministerial level meeting of the League countries overlooking the Indian Ocean for the regional cooperation, to be held on the 7 April 2001 in Muscat-Oman. The meeting is scheduled to study possible ways to enhance fields of cooperation among these countries in commerce, investment, tourism and customs.
Deliberations aiming at development of aviation services, sea-ports, and the transfer of mutual technology, are expected to be included in the agenda. Pakistanis application for membership, as well as the desire of France to be a dialogue partner, are, also to be discussed.
Yemeni economic departments, are thus very concerned about that consequences of the meeting in which high level officials of Yemen, in addition to a working team concerned with trade and investment, business-men and a group of academics from the league’s countries, are expected to participate in work for the promotion of economic, commercial and investment cooperation among the 19 member countries of the League.
Strategic Location of Yemen
More important for Yemen, is its strategic, geographical location which southern sea joins with the Indian ocean and those countries overlooking it. These countries, which facilitate Yemeni opportunities to accelerate exchange of commercial and economic transactions are extremely important .
It’s worth mentioning that Yemen, along with 14 other countries, declared the birth of the League in 1997 at Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius where the accord of the new economic group was signed.
According to the accord, the League’s aim is at the achievement of development and to enhance national wealth, through scientific and technical exchange programs, as well as in the human resources and expansion of business cooperation, while focusing on the basic interaction between the member countries and the private sector.
Yemeni businessmen, believe that economies of the League’s member states are very challenging in an age of globalization, so they emphasize the possibility of increasing regional cooperation among members of the new group in standing up to the domination of the industrialized countries and in the markets of countries overlooking the Indian ocean.
Through the League, Yemen Business Opportunities may increase
Yemen, as the other countries near the Indian Ocean, find new opportunities in cooperation with the League’s member states, and to distance herself from other economic groups around her, such as GCC in the north, the economic group in South Africa and the ASEAN. Yemen has failed to join the GCC, as India did with regard to the ASEAN or the group of the Pacific Ocean.
Yemeni economic circles think that achievement of the first stage is related to building of the container terminal and the Industrial Area in Aden, which should yield significant results towards activating Yemen’s trade and investment relations while boosting its exports to new and promising markets. This is in addition to opening its markets to imports from the markets of the Indian Ocean League Countries.
Worthy Business Opportunities
Geographical, political and military variations existing among the League’s countries, through their economic integration and expansion of trade exchange, represent a detrimental factor. Statistics indicate the existence of about 30 states overlooking the Indian Ocean, whose total population is approximately 1.5 billion, and which reserve more than two thirds of international crude -oil.
Moreover, these countries possess approximately 60% of raw uranium, 40% of gold resources. These countries also produce around 98% of world,s diamonds. This is in addition to the presence of natural wealth such as coal, brass, lead and phosphorus. Their coastal areas, are also full of marine wealth and summer retreats for tourists. Industrially exchangeable products are also marketable.
Important Economic Block
These figure indicate how the League may become a vital economic bloc standing among other similar entities. Hence, Yemeni businessmen confirm possibility of several future opportunities to sign partnership contracts of investment with their counter-parts in the League countries, especially in relation to Aden Free Zone.
To enhance the official credibility, Yemen has prepared the infrastructure requirements for Socotra island, located at the meeting- point of the Arab sea and the Indian Ocean. This preparation has included an internationally equipped airport, developing a sea-port to receive ships at a cost of YR 1,800,800,000.
Free Markets
While Yemen has declared its intention to establish a commercial free market in Socotra island, other related countries have similar opportunities in accordance with available facilities. For example India requires to import Yemeni gas estimated at 5 million tons annually, and can export sugar and textiles to Yemen markets.. and so forth.
The 19 League countries attending this ministerial meeting to be held in Muscat, are” Yemen, Australia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Singapore, South Africa, Sultanate of Oman, United Arab Emirates, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Seychelles, Mozambique, Tanzania, Thailand and Ceylon, In addition to the dialogue partners: Egypt, Japan, United Kingdom and China.