Develop a global partnership for development
Where we are?
Target 8.A: Develop further an open, rule-based, predictable, non-discriminatory trading and financial system
Commercial and financial system:
The foreign commercial system has become wider and more open. Constraints on commercial transactions have been lifted, custom tariff has been reconsidered, manipulation cancelled and competition reinforced. A number of reforms have taken place to upgrade the efficiency of foreign commerce including the issuance of the foreign commercial law which allows foreigners to do business in Yemen without a local partner. With regards to joining WTO, steps have recurred towards it, starting with Yemen obtaining membership as an observer in 1999 and the successive procedures that took place including the amendments on economic, financial and commercial laws to make them compatible with WTO rules and in order to pave the way for a full membership of the organization.
Hence, Yemen has made good progress towards being a member as it has almost concluded the multilateral negotiations and agreements signed with USA, China, EU and Australia while negotiations with the remaining countries are underway. In order to activate the role of the financial sector, being the sector through which commercial transactions are done with the world, the government has initiated several reforms related to liberating the banking sector on top of which comes the decision to allow foreigners to open new banks without a local partner as well as to update some banking laws and regulations aimed at enhancing the integrity of the banking sector. This has reflected in an increased foreign capital in the banking sector from 18.9% in 1991 to 32.5% in 2008.
The government has undertaken a wide variety of administrative reforms and legal amendments since
- The judicial system now enjoys financial and administrative autonomy. Moreover, several administrative measures were also adopted in the areas of judicial reform in the institutional aspects, improvement of regulatory aspect for commercial courts, special courts for public funds and juvenile justice.
- Various reforms took places on the modernization of civil servant service.
- Budgeting, tenders and bids procedures have been improved.
- The one-window system is applied for all commercial transactions and commercial legislations improved.
- The election of the Supreme National Anti-Corruption Committee and joining the Transparency Initiative for Quarrying Industries.
- Approving the election of governors and district managers and enabling local authorities to approve development plans.
- Finalizing the establishment of the Regional Center for Productive Training in cooperation
with the international donor states and organizations.
In enhancement of the above reform efforts, the government endorsed the second phase of the National Reform Agenda for 2009-2010. Ten priorities have been approved in order to address
the major bottlenecks facing the development work in Yemen and establishment of “friends of Yemen
group” in London meeting of 27 January 2010 to support reform programme in Yemen.
Target 8.B:Address the ٍspecial needs of the least developed countries
The development cooperation relations between the Yemeni government and the donor community based on transparency and credibility have contributed to widening the donors’ map to include 28 donor states and parties. In addition, the number of foreign NGOs working in Yemen has increased to reach almost 30 international and regional organizations. As a result, the amount of pledged funds reached 5.76 billion USD during and after the Donors’ Meeting in London 2006. Despite the significance of such pledges, the per capita share of assistance and simple loans remained low, averaged 15 USD per capita, which average for the less developed countries is 44 USD.
This comes despite weak development indicators of Yemen regarding achievement of the MDGs, which are adopted by the donor states as a benchmark for allocation of funds. This is primarily attributed to the limited number of industrial countries which put Yemen in its priority foreign assistance list (3 of 22 industrial states). Grants to Yemen did not exceed 0.2% of GDP in 2008 after it reached 0.4% in 2005 and these percentages are small in general compared to development needs of Yemen, and similarly data indicate little assistance for trade capacity building which did not exceed 0.5 %. Moreover, Yemen is one of the least developed countries seeking to join the World Trade Organization, which requires on priority basis for development assistance to build trade capacity in the context of special and differential treatment enjoyed by States of similar category, however, Yemen is one of the least benefits of this type of aid.
In order for Yemen to be integrated in the GCC and to strengthen cooperation and partnership, several steps were taken in consistency with the resolutions of the GCC summit, starting with the Muscat Summit which endorsed the integration of Yemen in several GCC organizations (GCC health ministers’ council, Education Bureau, Social Affairs and Labor and Arabian Gulf Football Championship).
The GCC Summit in Abu Dhabi in December 2005 boosted the tendency In order for Yemen to be integrated in the GCC and to strengthen cooperation and partnership, several steps were taken in consistency with the resolutions of the GCC summit, starting with the Muscat Summit which endorsed the integration of Yemen in several GCC organizations (GCC health ministers’ council, Education Bureau, Social Affairs and Labor and Arabian Gulf Football Championship).
The GCC Summit in Abu Dhabi in December 2005 boosted the tendency to qualify and integrate the Yemeni economy in the GCC economies as it supported development projects and infrastructure in Yemen and later on the preparation for an international donors’ conference in London under the sponsorship of the GCC General Secretariat in mid November 2006 and the following sponsorship of the Investment Opportunities Conference in Yemen in 2007. In 2008, Yemen was given membership to the GCC Organization for Industrial Consultancies and the Measurement Authority of the GCC. In continuation of these steps, the GCC exceptional summit in 2009 took a decision to absorb Yemeni skilled employment in the GCC countries labor market.
The trade partnership between Yemen and the GCC countries has grown from US$ 3.5 billion US$ 5.1 billion a reflection of 48% increase during the period 2005-2008. This partnership is expected to grow further with the setting up of three joint free zones in the coming years, in addition to the joint investment projects allowing production elements to move back and forth in Yemen and the Gulf countries.
As part of the GCC peace initiative, a donor conference was organized in Riyadh resulted in pleading of over US$ 8 billion to support the implementation of the Transition Plan for Stabilization and Development (2012-2014). This was followed by a number of Friends of Yemen meetings that were organized in London, Riyadh, and New York to politically support Yemen efforts to restore peace, security, stabilization and development. Another Friends of Yemen meeting is scheduled to take place in New York in September 2013 in conjunction with annual UN General Assembly meeting.
Target 8.D: Deal comprehensively with debt problems of developing countries through national and international measures in order to make debt sustainable in the long term
The efforts made to rationalize the use of foreign debts have reflected in the decrease in the foreign debt ratio to GDP from approximately 49.8% in 2000 to 21.6% in 2008. Foreign debt service remained within 2.1% of total exports on an average during the same period. Yemen’s relations with the Arab and other foreign countries along with the international funding organizations have improved, leading to obtaining more simple loans, funds and technical and development assistance. It is worth noting, however, that the value of the foreign debt did not decrease as in absolute value as it remained close to 5.5 billion USD during the period 1999-June 2009. On the other hand, the domestic debts’ burden kept on increasing to reach 11% of GDP while its service charges account for 2% of GDP for the same year. Domestic debt is represented in the treasury bills that were issued to finance the deficiency in the Public Budget which accounted for 9.3% in 2009. Due to the weak financial sustainability in Yemen as a result of the ongoing decline in oil production and oil revenues, the World Bank transferred its loans portfolio to Yemen into grants.
Target 8.F: In cooperation with the private sector, make available the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communication
The period 2000-2008 has witnessed a tangible development in various areas of IT and telecommunication. The number of information units in 2001 rose to 186 including 99 governmental information units. This number has been increasing ever since to reach over 380 information units by the end of 2006. With the inception of the Internet Service in Yemen in 1996, the number of hosted bodies on the Yemeni Gate to Internet has doubled to reach 55 with a capacity of 550 MB in mid 2007. As a result, the number of internet cafes has doubled to reach 925 nationwide by the end of 2007. In addition, the number of information and research centers as well as libraries and various information institutions has significantly increased to reach 53 in 2007.
Meanwhile, the government has endorsed the proposal of the National IT program (e- government), through which a public website for e-government in the web including for the governorates. The number of subscribers in the landline phone increased from 1.1% in 1990 to 4.3% in 2008). The capacity of the landline network has reached 1337 thousand subscriber in 2008 while the planned capacity to reach 1.533 million is expected by the end of 2015 with a 15% increase. As far as the mobile phone service is concerned, it was introduced in 2000. However, the number of subscribers of this service has significantly tripled increasing at the rate of 278% annually despite the increase in prices
of such service after the introduction of several service providers from governmental and private corporations to increase competition. As a result, the phone density (phone/100 citizen) of mobile phones increased from 0.8% for each 100 person in 2001 to almost 27.1% in 2008. With regard to Internet services, it was introduced in Yemen in 1996 but its expansion did not actually take place until the Internet Cafes started to blossom in 2004. Nevertheless, the percentage of subscribers continued to increase by 75.5% per annum during the period 2001-2007 leading to a corresponding increase in the ratio (subscribers/100 persons) from 0.04% in 2001 to approximately 1.4% in 2008. Hence, the internet users increased from 0.32% in 2001 to 6.89% in 2008.