Social Market Economy
Social Market Economy in Yemen: Responding to Calls for Change and Achieving Human Dignity
Studies and reports on the performance of the Yemeni economy since the adoption of a (liberal) market economy with the support of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, international organizations and other donors in 1995, culminating a comprehensive economic, financial and administrative reform program, indicated to the humble growth and inability to achieve economic and social targets.
Also, successive political crisis and accumulated economic and social challenges since 2007, as well as failure of national economic policies to counter external shocks such as the global food crisis (2006-08) together with the outbreak of the economic crisis since 2008, have reflected negatively on the various development indicators, and thus intensifying pressures to revise policies and seek better options to trigger economic growth and alleviate sufferings.
The Government of Yemen represented by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and in collaboration with the GIZ prepared several studies during 2009 and 2010 as inputs to kick start discussions in the country and organize seminars on the social market economy, and assess benefits of such system.
In 2011, the Arab Spring stretching in the region including Yemen, in different forms and various degrees, witnessed outbreaks of protests calling for change that would establish real democracies and address economic imbalances. Inevitably, Governments will need to adopt a comprehensive and integrated program of non-traditional economic policies and programs of social dimension to put the economies on a sustainable growth path and achieve the fundamental objectives of social justice.
Hence, it is expected that more attention will be directed to the social market economy that embodies basis and elements responding to the desired change, in particular the economic and social aspects. Accordingly, the GIZ Office in Sana'a agreed with the Economic Observatory for Studies & Consultancy (EOSC) a Yemeni think tank to build on the preliminary work and further develop a study highlighting advantages of the social market economy and assessing its merits in Yemen's future socioeconomic policies, given the country's limited potentials and difficult circumstances. Therefore, the EOSC took on its shoulder to explore further the concept and new paradigm, and to identify the different topics that require further research. The goal has been to seek principles and policies that empower a social market economy, and where the significance of economic growth parallel's social justice, in addition to introduce a gradual social protection system to safeguard the poor and those most vulnerable, together with preserving the environment and ensuring its sustainability for future generations. Such approach takes into account capabilities and resources that can be mobilized through better management on one side and reordering priorities on the other.
EOSC is currently working on implementing a communication plan for the new paradigm to assist its dissemination and mobilize support for integrating social market policies and plans in the coming years. The time frame for the plan is split into three overlapping phases, starting from 2012 and extending to 2015, which is the last year of the assumed current five-year development plan. The communication plan aims at integrating the concept and policies of the social market economy in all plans and programs. It targets decision makers, private sector, donors, academia and researchers, as well as civil society organizations and ordinary citizens, without which, any new move or call for change will face resistance postponing the expected positive results.
- Jul 27, 2013