External Trade as a Driver of Development during Conflict and War
External trade is considered a key and important activity as part of the national economy in any nation, and can significantly contribute to economic development of the country. At the external level, it is the window for Yemen to engage with the outside world, while in the meantime fostering business ties and Yemen’s economic integration into the global and regional economic blocs. It also promotes Yemen’s image aboard, through the goods and services that the country exports, especially commodities with comparative edge such as coffee, honey and fisheries. Locally, the commercial sector has contributed much to GDP, i.e. nearly 15.4%, on average, during 2012-2020. The sector also employs about 23% of the total workforce. It serves as the key channel for most productive, essential and luxury goods and services highly needed by both the economy and the citizen.
This issue of YSEU seeks to analyze performance by the Yemeni external trade sector across the various indicators over the past period. Key aspects of external trade policies are also reviewed, including Yemen's journey to accede to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and secure membership in the Pan Arab Free Trade Area (PAFTA). The sector's relationship with economic variables are also highlighted, particularly those variables with direct and rapid impact on the lives of citizens, such as inflation and exchange rates, as well as the impact of the conflict and war and major challenges facing the sector. As conclusion, it introduces a set of policies and actions needed to overcome those challenges.