Local News Political Analysis

Turkish President, Business Delegation Visits Yemen

Special Section

Abdullah Gul, President of the Republic of Turkey, is expected to arrive in Sana’a on Monday for a two-day visit and will be accompanied by an entourage of around eighty Turkish businessmen.

Members of the delegation are expected to bid for – and likely win – several important and lucrative contracts in the field of trade and development, the Turkish Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK) announced in a statement last week.

Among the most prominent bids already being eyed by Turkish firms are construction projects for a revamped national airport in Sana’a, as well as the laying of an entirely new, high-quality road along the 96km stretch between Sana’a and the south central city of Dhamar, which is expected to cost around $400 million.

Another project along the southerly route from the capital, between Ta’iz and Aden is also in the works, but will likely not be put up for a bid while government authorities in Yemen strive to gather the requisite funds.  An even more ambitious $3 billion, 3000km road connecting Yemen’s smaller towns and rural areas along an East-West axis is also on the drawing board, but is a far distant prospect for potential bidders.

The Chairman of the Turkish-Yemeni business council Sadik Yildiz also indicated to Turkish media sources that several additional projects will be inked with the Sana’a government which will aid in turning systems of state administration and record-keeping electronic.

Turkey’s trade agreements and relaxing of visa policies, especially with its Arab neighbors in the Levant, have led many in the Gulf regions to hope that Turley’s trade aspirations are turning eastward, and that new agreements in terms of industry and free trade are in the offing.

As it stands now, the volume of trade between Yemen and Turkey is $400 million, though Mr. Yildiz hopes the figure will climb to $1 billion by the end of next year.