The Republic of Yemen has pursued a market-based economic policy focused on expanding the economic contribution of the private sector, redefining the role of the State in economic activity to a corrective and oversight function, and working to establish the rule of law and institutional development. This involves removing obstacles facing the private sector, ensuring economic stability, and encouraging the private sector to play a leading role in the development process and the achievement of economic growth, through a series of financial, monetary and administrative policies and procedures to support the market mechanism and encourage free trade. The State has also worked to improve the overall climate for investment by revisiting laws governing taxation, customs, investment, and the judiciary. In addition, Yemen is implementing a privatization program designed to expand the areas of economic activity as well as to attract domestic and foreign capital.
Arable land in the Republic of Yemen constitutes 3% of the total area of the Republic of Yemen. The agricultural sector is considered the second productive sector after petroleum and its contribution rate ranges between (10% – 15%) of the value of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The agricultural sector is considered the economic sector more inclusive for employment since it can absorb approximately 54% of the total labor force and represents a source of income for more than 70% of the population.
The oil sector is one of the basic productive sectors in Yemen. Exploitation of oil resources is focused in a number of governorates of the Republic, most notably: (Marib – Shabwa – Hadramawt governorates). This sector contributes from 30% to 40% of GDP. It also accounts for more than 70% of State revenues and represents more than 90% of the value of Yemeni exports.
The fisheries sector represents one of the important sectors in the Yemeni economy due to the fact that Yemen possesses a 2,500-kilometer coastal strip stretching across the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea, and the Indian Ocean with islands and bays which form a suitable environment for more than 350 species of fish and aquatic life. This enhances the future importance of this promising sector as a major source of food, an important resource for economic development, and a major source of jobs.
Industry represents one of the key components of the national economy and its collective contribution to GDP is estimated at 10 to 15%, excluding oil industries. In terms of non-oil industry, the food industry is the most important contributor, followed by the construction industry. Other industries include cement, tobacco products, and metals. Currently, Yemen’s economy has a weak production base and lack of diversification; we invite you to consult the page of our Economic and Commercial Office for information on ongoing economic diversification efforts.