Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Yemen 'can achieve 4.5% growth'

Beleaguered Arab nation can rebound next year if political standoff ends, minister says


September 7, 2011

Riyadh: Yemen's economy can rebound next year and achieve growth of as much as 4.5 per cent if the country's political standoff is resolved, Industry and Trade Minister Hesham Sharaf said.

The government had forecast a similar growth rate this year before protests calling for the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh began in January, and will now "be very lucky" to record 3 per cent expansion, Sharaf said in a phone interview on Sunday from the capital, Sana'a.

Direct and indirect loses to Yemen's economy have reached between $5 billion (Dh18 billion) and $8 billion, Sharaf said. Gross domestic product in 2010 was estimated at $31 billion by the US Central Intelligence Agency.

Yemen, the poorest Arab nation and one that has been used as a base for Al Qaida attacks, has been wracked by violence as the political standoff deepened with military and tribal leaders joining the opposition. Efforts by Gulf Arab countries to mediate an agreement ending Saleh's three-decade rule have repeatedly broken down.

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