Yemen targets 5.6 percent annual GDP growth
The Yemeni government presented its new five-year economic development plan to the parliament (Shura council) this week. The ambitious 2001-2005 plan targets a 5.6 percent annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate. Per capita income, which according to government figures stands at 75,276 Yemeni Rials ($445) in 2001, is envisaged to rise to YR 84,448 ($499) by 2005, growing at a yearly average rate of 2.3 percent.
The plan focuses on continuing government support and increased private investments to enable the local economy to absorb 876,000 workers into the rapidly growing labor force between 2001 and 2005. With a population totaling 18.3 million in 2001, the Yemeni government also aims to lower the population growth rate to three percent per annum by 2005.
Nearly YR 200 billion have been allocated to education throughout the five-year period, making up 23 percent of total public expenditure, while six to 7.6 percent of the total public expenditure has been allocated to promote health services.
In 1995, the government of Yemen began to implement macroeconomic stabilization and structural adjustment programs with support provided by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), assisted by a broad range of international donors.
The first five-year plan of 1996-2000 had achieved an annual real GDP growth rate that averaged 4.4 percent from 1995 to 1999, and rose to 6.5 percent in 2000, out of the 7.2 percent targeted, according to USAID figures.
The fiscal deficit declined to an average of 3.3 percent of GDP for 1995-1999, despite the wide-ranging fluctuations in world oil prices. In 2000, Yemen posted a substantial budget surplus of 9.4 percent of GDP, resulting from a surge in revenue stemming from a 60 percent rise in world oil prices. Inflation declined to single digit levels at six percent by 1997 and eight percent in 1999, but reached 10.9 percent in 2000. — (Mena Report)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)