Achieving Competitive Advantage in Yemeni Industries Promotes Economic Growth
Sawt Al-Amal (Voice of Hope) – Alia Muhammed
Creating competitive capabilities for industries in Yemen is essential, due to its importance in achieving economic development, raising growth rates and improving living standards.
The global economic arena is witnessing developments that intensify competition between global markets. The concept of competitiveness refers to the performance index of local products and commodities in the external and internal markets. The competitiveness of products depends on the quality of production, prices and efficiency.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Competitiveness Development defines the level of a national economy as the degree to which, under free and fair market conditions, goods and services can be produced that meet the tastes of international markets while sustaining expansion.
Muhammad Al-Ghamari, an industrial expert and dean of the Industrial Technical Institute, assured “Sawt al-Amal” that the concept of competitiveness is based on the ability of factories to produce goods and products with high quality, efficiency, and with an appropriate price at a lower cost, while preserving quality and purchasing cost. This is one of the most significant competitive conditions in the domestic or foreign markets, which meet the needs of consumers and provide them with more effective products compared to other competitors, which ensures the continuity of the product and its success in the market.
He explained that the competitive advantage in the industry helps to eliminate the challenges facing the efficiency and quality of goods. In addition, competitiveness in the field of industry is an effective guarantee for promoting economic growth.
Industry Competitiveness Requirements
Nasser bin Yahya, a project management specialist, believes that there are a number of foundations and specifications on which the competitive advantage is based, most notably international standards for quality and the commitment to a fixed level of quality, in addition to development in production. This is by selecting manpower with a high level of efficiency capable of reaching the highest level of production including, packaging, storage, preservation and transportation of commodities and products.
He stressed on the importance of studying the markets and searching for market and consumer requirements, as well as the fact that production costs are among the most important indicators of competitive advantage due to their association with setting prices that help products and commodities reach a high level. Furthermore, a particular industry becomes more competitive if its production costs are reduced and that its product quality is improved, which strengthens the industry’s competitiveness. This is done only by paying attention to the efficiency, skills and level of productivity of the workers.
Types of Competitive Goods
The National Information Center indicates that the industrial sector in Yemen went through different stages. In addition, before the Yemeni revolution, it was limited to some traditional and primitive manufactures and crafts.
After the revolution, the Yemeni economy witnessed a remarkable recovery in all fields of the economy. The private sector, especially the expatriate sector, began to invest in the industrial sector. Industrial projects also began to produce consumer goods for the local market, and to absorb the growing number of workers.
The contribution of the industrial sector in the formation of the gross domestic product began to rise continuously. Furthermore, the industrial sector witnessed a modest rate of performance, concentrated in the food and construction industries. The manufacturing industries also witnessed significant development from the beginning of the seventies until the early nineties, and the number of industrial establishments increased, according to the National Information Center.
The center’s data showed that the most important crops grown, in addition to other crops, are mangoes, dates and grapes. These crops are of high quality and their prices are competitive with those of foreign markets. Regarding fish and marine life products, Yemen is one of the richest Arab countries in terms of fish and marine life products.
Coffee as the First Competitive Commodity in Yemen
The “Strategy for Improving Coffee Crop Production” issued by the Association of Yemeni Banks in the year 2020 during the period 2019-2025 includes the production and cultivation of 13 million seedlings. This will work to increase the area by the end of the period with five thousand and 200 hectares, in addition to increasing the volume of production from 19,286 tons at present to 50,424 tons by 2025.
According to the strategy, the area of coffee cultivation in Yemen will increase from 34,000 hectares to 43,000 hectares during the same period. Exports will also rise from 3,000 tons to 40,441 tons by 2025.
The strategy clarified the most significant interventions of the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation to advance coffee cultivation, the most important of which is the establishment of the General Administration of Coffee. Besides, it seeks to prepare a comprehensive survey of coffee-growing areas in various governorates, in addition to launching an annual conference on coffee and ways to raise productivity and improve quality.
The executive plan of the strategy focused on producing one million seedlings annually and distributing them to farmers in the coffee-growing areas. Additionally, it will prepare and implement guidance and awareness programs on improving production and quality, and it will establish coffee export preparation in four centers in coordination with the private sector.
In turn, Shihab Al-Jabri, one of the coffee farmers, confirmed that Yemen is one of the most important coffee-producing countries, and that coffee is one of the most important competitive monetary commodities that provided a number of business opportunities and contributed to covering the food gap.
In his speech, Al-Jabri stated a number of obstacles and difficulties that still face coffee farmers, which in return affected its quality. The most prominent of these were the scarcity of rainwater, limited lands, and the lack of specialized research in the field of coffee.
Honey is a Very Popular Commodity
In Yemen, types of Yemeni honey are produced, and they differ from each other due to the different pastures available in the Yemeni governorates. In addition, Sidr, Sumar, Al-Salam, Duba, and Al-Qasas honey are among the most important types of honey of the best quality.
The Yemeni governorates of Hadhramout and Shabwa are famous for producing the finest types of honey, and Do’ani honey is relative to Wadi Jardan in Shabwa, which is known as Sidr honey.
A number of Yemeni beekeepers make tremendous efforts to reach competitiveness and satisfy consumer demands and desires at home and abroad through various ways. They also prepare honey for marketing according to the type of honey.
Saleh Hassan, one of the honey merchants in Yemen, believes that honey is one of the most important commodities that are very popular in the local and foreign markets due to its beneficial properties that help in treating diseases.
He stressed that the Yemenis have an old experience in extracting honey from the tablets through various ways according to consumer desires. They differ according to the type of cells used from one type to another, and from one region to another.
Packaging as a Promotional Task
Mona Abdulrahman, a specialist in sales and marketing management, stated that the basis of the quality of the commodity depends largely on the way it is packaged and stored. Additionally, the cover represents the important part that surrounds the product and protects it from any external influences, and each commodity differs from the other in terms of the quality of the cover used.
She added that commodities go through several stages until they reach the hands of consumers, and they are exposed to a number of different influences during transportation, preservation and display. In case that there are no covers, commodities may be affected by high and cold temperatures, which will have negative effects on the product.
Packaging is a means and a tool of protection, and a source of consumer information, because it helps the consumer to identify important information about the content of the commodity, its expiry date and its characteristics.
She stressed on the importance of proportionality between the wrapping material and the product to be packaged, through which the importance of choosing the quality of the cover lies, so that it does not interact with the product, especially in food commodities. In addition, the cover should be suitable for the size of the product and easy to open and close.
She pointed out to the importance of commodity packaging from a promotional and competitive point of view, due to the fact that the packaging distinguishes the product from the rest of the products, and it helps influence the beneficiary to make a purchase decision.
51% of the Respondents Affirm the Significant Impact of Small and Medium-sized Industries on the Local Economy
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