Yemen meets with GCC [Archives:2006/955/Front Page]

June 15 2006

By: Yasser Al-Mayasi
SANA'A, June 15 ) The three-day session of the initial meeting of Yemen's technical team and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) General Secretariat concludes today.

Yemeni Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Abdul Karim Al-Arhabi, chaired the meetings, which discussed arrangements for a November donors conference in London aimed at mustering necessary financing sources to help Yemen qualify its national economy to keep pace with GCC economies.

Attendees reviewed the third five-year plan (2006-2010) for development and poverty alleviation. GCC officials will be aware of the Yemeni economy's needs via an introductory program. Additionally, the conference reviewed technical preparations for the first donors conference, as well as reviewed other activities suggested by GCC General Secretariat and Gulf Development Fund participants.

The meetings aimed to give an idea of development efforts and illustrate Yemen's economic and social development over the past few years by projecting the opportunities and merits of investment, the size of Yemen's financial reserves and future partnership between Yemen and the GCC. Participants established a primary plan for covering media activities during the conference.

Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Aweesheg, Economic Integration Administration Manager, assured that the steps required to qualify Yemen to join the GCC are on the right path according to accurate and prepared mechanisms. He also assured that committee meetings aim to reach a form of agreement that will convince donors to support and qualify Yemen's economy, as well as convince them that the government-adopted reforms matrix can be applied quickly. He further noted, “The present financing gap can be bridged via donors' consent to support Yemen's economy, in addition to having a stable investment environment.”

Al-Arhabi assured that conference recommendations, including Yemen's view of joining the GCC, will be submitted to the GCC Ministerial Council. Additionally, the size of financial support and investments needed for development in Yemen in the next five years will be discussed.

This is the first time for Gulf nations to work with the Yemeni government in preparing for a donors conference, wherein Yemen is striving to gain support for $6 billion in projects allocated for various sectors like electricity, roads and education.