News Column

Yemen to exempt Internet and postal services from WTO regulations

January 23, 2014

SANA'A, Jan 22—State-run Internet and postal services will continue to operate outside of new regulations in Yemen that are a result of the nation's recent World Trade Organization accession, said Dr. Hamoud Al-Najar, the head of the Yemen Communication and Coordination Office.

Al-Najar said the decision was made in reaction to a statement the minister of telecommunications and information and technology said earlier this week.

State media quoted Ahmed Ubaid Bin Daghar, the minister of telecommunications as saying Yemen will lose YR60 billion ($279 million) per year if the sector complied with other regulations under WTO membership.

"Liberalizing Yemen's telecommunications is a negative impact of Yemen's WTO accession," the London-based Al-Hayat Arabic newspaper quoted Bin Daghar saying on Sunday.

"[Joining the WTO] represents a direct threat to 12,000 workers at the Public Telecommunication Corporation and its affiliated companies such as TeleYemen, Yemen Mobile and the Public Postal Authority," Bin Daghar told Al-Hayat.

Currently mobile phone service are allowed to be privately owned in Yemen, whereas Internet services and landline phones are still monopolized by the state-run Public Telecommunication Corporation.

Yemen signed final papers to solidify its WTO membership on Dec. 4 in Indonesia. The country is required to finalize a review of its trade laws in accordance with the WTO regulations by June this year.

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Source: Yemen Times

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