New Delhi: Energy
and higher education are among areas that have immense potential
of cooperation between India and Yemen, experts said here and
suggested that New Delhi should help further develop its maritime
Participating in a conference on India-Yemen bilateral relations
organised by the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) here
Tuesday, academicians and strategic experts identified areas where
the two countries can expand their cooperation.
Hifdhallah Yahiya al-Ahmadi of Sheba Centre for Strategic Studies
(SCSS), Yemen, said his country has interest in attracting Indian
investments in oil and gas. He said India has been granted
concessions to explore oil in some blocks in Yemen.
Speaking in the session "Indo-Yemen relations", Hifdhallah said
the current cooperation between the two countries in education
sector was "humble" and Yemen could benefit from the progress made
by India in higher education.
"Yemen can take advantage of the education boom in India,
particularly in IT and programming. Yemen can take advantage of
the cost-efficient teaching materials uniquely available in India
for teaching medicine, IT (Information Technology) and English,"
He said his country can also benefit from Indian expertise to set
up centres of vocational education and its experience in
developing small and medium industries.
Dwelling on history, he said both Yemen and India suffered from
colonial occupation. He said there had been immigration between
the two countries since the mid-sixteenth century which had
contributed to the existence of "Indian-Yemeni community,
particularly in Hyderabad in India and Hadramaut and Aden in
Zakir Hussain, research fellow at the ICWA, said India can
contribute to developing post-hydrocarbon economy of Yemen.
He suggested that India should bid for developing one of the
islands of Yemen as a "model hub" having IT park, pharmaceutical
centre, maritime research unit and water desalination plant.
He said Yemen can also benefit from India's experience in dry-land
Hussain said India can share its democratic and electoral
experiences with Yemen which has "multiplicity of tribal
Intervening in the discussion, Vijay Sakhuja, director research,
ICWA, said India does not export democracy.
"It (democracy in India) is a successful model. It is for others
to partake...for Yemen to partake what is suitable," he said.
Ahmed A. Saif, executive director, SCSS, said both India and Yemen
have a strong interest in ensuring security of maritime traffic
"as piracy incurs tremendous cost to trade through seas".
Commodore Ranjit Rai (retd), vice-president, National Maritime
Foundation, said India can help develop "rest and recreation"
facilities in Yemeni islands such as Socotra for visiting vessels.
ICWA and SCSS signed a memorandum of understanding to explore
mutual areas of interest and help engage knowledge communities of
the two countries.