Yemen to Join WTO Soon [Archives:2002/06/Business & Economy]

February 4 2002

The national committee has concluded the first steps with regard to Yemen’s access to the World Trade Organization. The committee has prepared the foreign trade regulatory memorandum to be offered to the general ministerial committee in order to negotiate with the WTO.
A working team was formed to support the committee in its negotiation with the WTO to accept Yemen as a member of the organization. The government has approved a number of trade laws and legislations which will pave the way for Yemens acceptance. One of the important legislation is related to organizing all different forms of the trade relations between Yemen and other countries.
Yemen’s access to the WTO has been objected by many trade and industrial sectors in a time when industrial sector is very weak. This can be attributed to a number of reasons such as production weakness, smuggling, and the dumping policy in our local markets.
Tourist agencies are afraid of Yemen’s access to the WTO because it may negatively affect the tourist industry in Yemen within the framework of the unmatched competition with other tourist sectors of other countries. They think that Yemen’s access to the WTO will lead to the bankruptcy of many agencies. They also think that it will lead to poverty, unemployment as a result of transferring foreign cadres to work in the Yemeni markets.
Yemen is among nine less developed countries to be accepted at the WTO. In order to join this organization, Yemen has to respond to a number of conditions among which are the relevant commitments to the privatizing provisions and investment law, and linking the private custom duties to exports. An agreement stipulated that the developing countries should be granted transitional period lasting for two years. At the same time, the trade intellectual property rights have specified five years as a condition to join the WTO.
The negotiations to accept Yemen as a member of the WTO point out that it is difficult for countries such as Yemen to make use of its access to the WTO. Yemen’s access will exceed the stipulated conditions of the WTO.
Negotiations with the WTO include reaching an agreement with all member-states of the organization on a timetable demonstrating the commitments Yemen needs to meet. Above all, Yemen has to offer periodical reports to the WTO particularly those reports, which center on privatization and its economic reforms.
In this respect, Yemen’s access to the WTO is considered to be an opportunity on the part of Yemen to schedule its requirements with regard to the agricultural products.