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|Trade Balance Overweigh Gulf States over Yemen|
Hasan Al-Zaidi (YEMEN POST)
Article Date: September 08, 2008
As soon as Ramadan nears, the demand over staples and food commodities by Yemeni families increased markedly.
During this month, people prepare a number of extra things needed for Ramadan including juice, sweets, etc. However, they face an unprecedented crisis as for the increase of prices of such foodstuffs. Such increases result from the greediness of tradesmen who consider this month to be a chance for making more money.
Minister of Industry and Trade Yahya Al-Mutawkel stated that what his ministry's office in provinces face is the judicial vacation as prosecution does not work during the holy month of Ramadan, hinting this hampers their work for punishing those who violate price regulations.
Al-Mutawkel stressed as well the importance of rationalizing the consumption of citizens during this month and noted that pointers indicate that there is enough stock of foodstuffs in the market.
Despite the fact that some national factories are producing the consumptive and foodstuffs, the door is widely open before foreign commodities, and the country has turned to be a big market for Gulf products, especially products coming from Saudi Arabia.
The Central Statistical Administration announced an increase in trade volume between Yemen and Gulf countries to reach YR 777 billion including the imports and exports. Compared to the previous years, 2007 has shown a noticeable increase.
Trade exchange between Yemen and Gulf countries reached in 2006 YR 552 billion, compared to YR 433 billion in 2004. The growth rate as for trade exchange has mounted in 2006-2007 to reach 4 percent.
Statistics indicate that the Yemeni market is still a consumptive market, especially when the gap between imports and exports is wide. The country's imports from Gulf countries have reached YR 626 billion in 2007 and YR 418 billion in 2006, with an increase of 49.9 percent.
However, Yemen's exports to Gulf countries are scant and showed only timid increases in 2007 as it reached YR 150 billion compared to YR 133 billion in 2006, with a total increase of only 12.9 percent.
This commercial deficit is influenced by Yemen's increased growth of imports from Gulf States. Observers believe that Yemen lacks facilities and proper equipment and procedures for its exports, especially those competitive commodities including fruits, vegetables, fish and other commodities like honey and cotton.
United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia come in first place and them being the biggest exporters. Emirates came first in exports to Yemen surpassing YR 366 billion during 2007, followed by Saudi Arabia with YR 139 million.In return, Yemen's exports to Saudi Arabia reached YR 28 billion in 2007.