Yemen still pushing to join WTO
The Communication and Coordination office at the Ministry of Industry and Trade [in Yemen] is currently discussing the technical procedures needing to be implemented before Yemen joins the World Trade Organization (WTO). Yemen first requested to join the WTO 13 years ago.
Dr. Hamoud Al-Najar, head of the Communication and Coordination Office, told the Yemen Times that Yemen will join the WTO, but there still remains the task of convincing Ukraine – the only country currently opposing the agreement.
Yemeni-Ukrainian negotiations are in progress, according to officials.
Al-Janad Press cited Ukraine Press when they reported that Ukraine rejected Yemen’s acceptance to the WTO because of fraud committed against the Ukrainian Trade Foundation by the Yemeni military, costing the foundation millions of dollars. The reports note there was no explicit admission from the Ukrainian government that this was the reason for rejecting Yemen’s membership.
Al-Najar stated that Yemen has much to gain by joining the WTO. Advantages include exporting its products to foreign markets without paying customs tariffs, as well as commercial interaction with countries worldwide.
Many government officials are behind Yemen’s decision to join the WTO.
However, economist Mohammed Jobran said that joining the WTO has several advantages for industrial countries that are export giants, but for countries like Yemen where goods are largely imported, there are many disadvantages.
Jobran does not support Yemen’s inclusion in the international body, he said the disadvantages of joining the WTO include the decline of national industries, increased smuggling of expired goods because of fewer customs protections, increasing unemployment and a depressed economy.
Jobran called government’s support of joining the WTO “political propaganda,” adding that Yemen has to start constructing industrial cities instead of importing food commodities in order to benefit from the WTO.