The 2014 WTO accession of Yemen: Accession negotiations as an instrument for domestic reform, national security and international cooperation

In 2011, a popular revolution occurred in Yemen, leading to the formation of the government which brought the accession process to its conclusion in 2014, following years of long and complex negotiations. From the beginning, Yemen’s accession process was envisaged not as an end in itself, but as a means to achieve other, more imperative, objectives, including poverty reduction, decreasing levels of chronic unemployment and raising levels of sustained development to meet the needs of a rapidly growing population. This chapter gives an account of the accession process, focusing on the positive effects of Yemen’s accession to the WTO, both as a catalyst for long sought-after domestic reform and as a useful and convenient path to reach higher levels of reform for which the accession process acted as a spur. The aspiration was to create a competitive business environment that would lead to efficient resource allocation and ultimately boost output and productivity as well as increasing the well-being of the populace and reaping the benefits of WTO membership. Joining the WTO does not mark the end of the reform process. There is work post-accession to establish and strengthen different institutions to exercise the benefits of WTO membership for Yemen.

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