Yemen-WTO negotiations begin NovemberHindrances impeding development of national exports [Archives:2004/761/Business & Economy]

August 5 2004

It is expected that negotiations between Yemen and the World Trade Organisation would begin following the convening of the first meeting of a joint working team of the organisation scheduled on 30 of next November. The meeting comes amidst questions by industrialists and tradesman in Yemen who express their fears of acceding the WTO and the negative impact of that on their domestic products.
In preparation for inauguration of negotiations between Yemen and the WTO, the UNCTAD program has recently organized a workshop in Sana'a in which there has been a training for the negotiating team on how to prepare and work out national mechanism for documents of accession, the material contained in the document and submitting offers on merchandise and services required by the negotiating team before embarking on negotiation with members of the Organisation, the major partners in trade with Yemen.
The UN expert in the field of joining the WTO Thomas Mathew announced that the organisation was offering Yemen threadbare technical assistance for joining it by holding such a workshop, calling the Yemeni government for exerting intensified efforts to benefit from the opportunities the organisation grants to less developed countries.
However, many businessmen and industrialists of Yemen assert that Yemen's accession to the WTO would not yield positive benefits for Yemeni agricultural exports owing to its small volume of production, its quality and the limited surplus.
Economic studies stress that Yemeni exportation to external markets faces hindrances precluding development of exports. More important of such hindrances weakness of production potentials, non-availability of raw materials, weak infrastructure, absence of credit institutions and standard criteria and specifications regarding quality as well as degraded services of packaging, transport and storage and the low level of technical and marketing experiences.
The government appears, however, as determined to negotiate with the WTO and confirms that it has set up mechanisms and plans necessary for overcoming impedances of exports in the foreseeable range, especially after it has passed an important distance in the field of liberating its external trade and is endeavouring for benefiting from privileges of joining the WTO.