Yemen`s main trading partners are China and Saudi Arabia. Turkey is another important source of imports. Other important destinations for Yemeni exports are Thailand, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates and Oman. Yemen imports grain, food, chemicals and machinery. The dominant export commodity is crude oil, but it also exports gold and food to its neighbors. Until the 1960s, there were virtually no all-season roads in Yemen, except in the city of Aden. In the last years of the Empire, the first of these roads were built in the north as part of foreign aid programs from China, the United States, and the Soviet Union. These early roads – i.e. those from Al-Ḥudaydah to Sana`a and those from Mokka (Al-Mukhā) to Sana`a via Taʿizz – represented great technical masterpieces. They reduced the travel time between the participating cities from a few days to a few hours and triggered an explosion in internal transport and trade. Since then, many once rudimentary roads in the north and south have been paved, and many small towns and villages have requested similar improvements. Although all major cities are now served by all-season roads, there are thousands of miles of trails that are only passable by off-road vehicles. Built at an accelerated speed since the mid-1970s, these runways offer a market for locally produced goods and easier access to consumer goods.
The former capitals of Aden and Sana`a remain the transport hubs of the south and north respectively, and travel between most small towns is only possible through these hubs. In 2012, Yemen`s simple average most-favoured-nation treatment is 7.5 per cent, protecting its agricultural products (with a most-favoured-nation tariff of 10.4 per cent) more than non-agricultural products (7.0 per cent) (WTO, 2013). So far, Yemen has been a WTO observer. Its application for WTO membership was approved by WTO ministers at the 9th Ministerial Conference held in Bali, Indonesia, on 3-6 December 2013. Nevertheless, it is currently in the process of ratifying the agreement before becoming a full member of the WTO (WTO 2014). This conclusion of the accession process has shown that it is seeking to reform its trade regime on wto requirements. At the regional level, Yemen is a founding member of the Council of Arab Economic Unity (CAEU) and the resulting Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA), which aim to establish the Arab Common Market and promote trade liberalization in the region. Among member countries, customs duties and levies have been completely exempt. In addition, it is currently negotiating its full membership with the dominant regional free trade area of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), of which it is already a member in some institutions.
As an LDC, Yemen is also a beneficiary of Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) programmes offered by developed countries such as the United States and the EU. In addition, the country continues to boycott Israel`s goods and services. The Republic of Yemen is classified as a low- and middle-income country and one of the least developed countries (LDCs). It occupies the 119th century. Ranking of the 132 countries in the World Economic Forum (WEF) Enabling Trade Report (2012), which measures institutions, policies and services to facilitate trade in countries. Yemen`s economy is heavily dependent on declining oil resources, while oil accounts for 25% of GDP and 63% of government revenues. Since the main industries are crude oil production and oil refining, the government has been trying since 2006 to strengthen the non-oil sectors and diversify the economy through an economic reform program. In 2009, Yemen successfully exported its first liquefied natural gas as part of its diversification efforts. Its economy has maintained a modest growth rate, with the exception of 2011, when economic growth was interrupted by political turbulence. Yemen continues to face difficult long-term challenges, including high unemployment rates (35 per cent), prevailing poverty, dwindling water resources, severe food shortages and a high rate of population growth.
In addition, the government is grappling with political unrest, corruption, terrorism and secessionists. All of these factors are hampering Yemen`s economic growth. Until the early 1960s, about three-quarters of the very modest international trade in northern Yemen passed through Aden. However, after the 1962 revolution, the new government hijacked trade through the port of Al-Ḥudaydah on the Red Sea, which was expanded and modernized with great help from the Soviet Union. The ports of Aden and Al-Ḥudaydah now handle almost all Yemeni maritime traffic. Although the port of Al-Ḥudaydah is well equipped, it has experienced periods of serious traffic jams. The vast facilities of Aden were not sufficiently used during the socialist period. With the unification and complete modernization of port and production facilities that began in the late 20th century (including the inauguration of an industrial free trade area in 1991 and the opening of a container port in 1999), Aden, which has good road connections to Taʿizz, Ibb and beyond, will be able to handle most of the country`s international trade.
Yemen`s other ports, including Mocha and Al-Mukallā, which were mainly used by small boats and for coastal traffic and, in the case of mocha, for smuggling, began renaissance plans at the end of the 20th century. While Mokka cancelled most of its development plans after Yemen`s unification, Al-Mukallā was fired in the early 21st century. == References ===== External links ===* Official website „I am glad that we were able to sign TIFA while Minister Alqirbi is in Washington. This agreement will be a tool to strengthen our trade and investment relations with Yemen and is an integral part of the President`s initiative to promote economic reforms in the Middle East and create a Free Trade Area for the Middle East (MEFTA) by 2013,“ Zoellick said. For many centuries, trade was the main source of wealth for the states that occupied the southern corner of the Arabian Peninsula. Trade declined in the 16th century when the Portuguese controlled maritime trade with the East, turning the Red Sea region, and Yemen in particular, into an economic backlog. The only global commodity left in Yemen was the coffee trade, a monopoly that lasted for centuries. The construction of the Suez Canal (completed in 1869) animated the Red Sea route between Asia and Europe and proved to be anticipated for the British decision to take Aden in 1839. Aden`s deep-water berths and the sophisticated and extensive port facilities built by the British over the years have made it one of the most important ports in the world. With regard to sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures, Yemen, as a member of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), applies SPS measures in accordance with the standards of these international bodies. The Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, the Ministry of Public Health and Population, the Ministry of Public Works and YSMO are responsible for the preparation, management, monitoring, inspection and approval of SPS measures in Yemen. With regard to technical barriers to trade, Yemen is a member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the Basel Convention, the Gulf Standards Authority and some other regional organizations.
These international standards form the basis for the development and implementation of Yemen`s national standards. It has incorporated the principles of the TBT-WTO Agreement into existing legislation, although full compliance with the TBT Agreement is ensured through financial and technical assistance and a transition period. The Government has prepared an action plan for the gradual implementation of the TBT Agreement. The Yemeni Organization for Standardization and Metrology (YSMO), a government agency, has been established as the focal point for TBT issues and will be responsible for notifying the WTO through the TBT Fact-Finding Point. Nevertheless, trade remained quite modest until the economic boom of the 1970s and 80s; At the height of this boom, the value of Yemen`s exports (mainly coffee, cotton products, and hides and leather) accounted for only a tiny fraction of imports, which included food of all kinds, industrial goods (consumer and industrial goods), machinery, transportation, chemicals, and petroleum products – the staples demanded by a population once isolated from the modern consumer economy. The ratio of exports to imports began to change dramatically with the emergence of oil exports in the late 1980s. With the exception of oil exports, however, Yemen operates with the exception of a tiny portion of its export trade with its regional neighbors. Hover over a dispute number in the following table to display the title of the dispute. Click the dispute number to go to a page with detailed information about the dispute. In the service sector, the public administration is one of the largest employers. Overall, the services sector employs about a quarter of the population and accounts for about two-fifths of gross domestic product (GDP).
Tourism accounts for a relatively small share of GDP; Despite Yemen`s rich natural and cultural heritage and the government`s efforts to promote tourism, underdevelopment of infrastructure and political instability have made many visitors reluctant to visit the country. Before unification, the state-owned airlines of the two Yemenis provided each country with its most important transport link to the outside world for passengers, mail and light cargo. .