Follow the latest in economic news and developments about the Arab transition countries. 

Yemen’s external debt stood at $7.2 billion in Novovember 2013, down $50 million from last September, according to Central Bank figures. International financing organizations such as the Arab Monetary Fund, International Monetary Fund, the OPEC Fund for International Development and others make up the largest creditors with collective loans worth $3.5 billion. Yemen’s external public debt stands at $1.6 billion, divided among member countries of the Paris Club. [Al-Hayat, Arabic]

Yemen lost hundreds of millions of dollars in 2013 due to sabotage of its Marib province oil pipeline, a new Central Bank report says. The report, issued in December, shows that total revenue from Yemen’s oil exports during the last 10 months of 2013 reached $2.25 billion, around $750 million less than the amount for the corresponding period in 2012. The report attributed the fall to a decline in oil exports from around 26 million barrels in the last 10 months of 2012 to 21 million barrels in 2013. [Al-Shofra]

The new constitution will increase the country’s spending rates as percentages of GDP for health, education and scientific research, according to Egypt’s 50-Member Committee Head Amr Moussa. “Article 238 obliges the state to reach international spending rates by a specific time,” Moussa said. He reiterated that the proposed in the amendments increase the spending rates to 3 percent for health, 4 percent for education and 1 percent for scientific research. [Al Borsa]

The Chairman of the Egyptian Chemical Export Council Dr. Waleed Helal today announced that the US is imposing 3.4 percent customs duties on imports from Egypt. The US administration has not yet announced the motives behind imposing Egyptian import duties, Helal noted, citing a politically-driven decree. The US Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program – which offers duty-free access to the US market to a wide array of Egyptian producers –announced reaching its term last July. The GSP is scheduled to be re-activated within the second quarter of 2014. [Amwal Al Ghad]

Also of Interest:
Egypt has repaid $700 million to Paris Club: CBE | DNE
Central Bank of Egypt: Individual foreign currency transfer comes into effect today | Cairo Post
Central Bank of Egypt freezes the balances of 702 Muslim Brotherhood figures | Cairo Post
Strikes loom at Egyptian universities over minimum wage | Aswat Masriya
Blog: Aid, easy credit and investment – Jordan attracts foreign funds | GAN
Jordan asked the US to once again guarantee Eurobonds | Al Arab Al Yawn [Arabic]
Libyan autonomy groups vows to sell oil from seized ports | World Bulletin
Libya oil minister: Current production over 650,000 mbd | Tripoli Post  
Maroc Telecom: Gulf aid deepens Morocco ties | 4-Traders
Tunisia: EIB provides €90 million to support sustainable development | ENPI

Poll: 41 percent of Tunisians believe economic situation has deteriorated | Kapitalis [French]