Yemen, Syria agree to boost trade exchange [Archives:2005/835/Business & Economy]

April 21 2005

Yemen and Syria had, last Monday, signed a group of agreements and memorandums of understanding in areas of sea transportation, exports, tourism and enhancement of trade and economic relations. In addition, they discussed ways of enhancing relations in areas of politics, culture, specifications, standardization and technical sand scientific cooperation.

Those agreements had been signed at the conclusion of a three day visit to Yemen by the Syrian Prime Minister Naji al-Etri during which he had chaired his country's delegation at meetings of the joint committee.

Official sources told Yemen Times that the agreement also included drawing up of a mechanism for activating agreements already concluded by the two countries which have exceeded 107 agreements, protocol and memorandums of cooperation.

Sources have expected those agreements would lead to increase trade movement of the two countries after the volume of trade exchange has risen during the year 2004 to YR4.43 billion compared to YR 1.9 billion in 2003. The sources added that the value of Yemeni exports to Syria in 2004 has amounted to around YR 647 million with an increase of a million riyals compared to 2003. On the other hand, the Yemeni imports from Syria amounted to around YR 3.7 billion, with an increase amounting to YR 1.9 billion in comparison with 2003.

The sources attributed the increase in the volume of trade exchange between the two countries to growth of their economic and investment relations in the light of the strong political ties of the two countries. Their encouragement of the private sector to more exchange of trade and the establishment of joint investments.

The volume of trade exchange between the two countries has risen gradually, from 528 million riyals in 2000 to reach at 1.8 billion riyals. The Yemeni exports rose from 46 million riyals in 2000 to 651 millions in 2002. Imports from Syria have also risen noticeably, reaching 1.6 billion riyals in 2002. Nevertheless, the sources see that the present volume of trade exchange does not respond to ambitions of the two countries' people and the hope that meetings of the joint committee in Sana'a would result in the expansion of trade and investment.

Trade relations between Yemen and Syria receive official as well as people's support, as the Yemeni consumer prefers buying Syrian clothes and products in support for the Syrian economy and the good relations between the two countries. It is also expected that the agreements and regulation of transportation movement would contribute to advance horizons of trade cooperation and establishment of an economic partnership for the service of the Arab economic integration.