Al-Moallem: Syria and Russia to Cooperate in Struggle for Rebuilding Syrian Economy

SOCHI, (ST)-  The 10th meeting of the Syrian-Russian permanent committee on trade, economic, scientific and technical cooperation concluded on Tuesday after signing a final cooperation protocol.

The protocol was co-signed by leaders of the two delegations to the committee:  the Syrian Deputy Premier, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Walid al-Moallem and the Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin.

During the opening session of the meeting, al-Moallem said "the Syrian leadership and people are grateful to Russia for its principled stances and firm support and assistance to the Syrian people in the fight against takfiri terrorism groups."

He added that interaction within the meetings of the Russian-Syrian Committee on trade, economic, scientific and technical cooperation has built a solid base for strategic economic cooperation between the two countries, because the goal is to achieve welfare and security to the Syrian people and to make the Russian citizen feel that his country's actions in Syria are profitable.

Syria's cooperation with Russia and other allies has helped the country get closer towards the final victory, said al-Moallem, stressing that "it is normal and important at this stage to begin the next fight which is  the struggle for rebuilding the Syrian economy."

He went on to say that he was not worry how quick the agreement reached between the two sides will be implemented.

"It depends on Russian companies how soon we will be able to fully restore Syria’s economy," he stressed, expressing confidence that cooperation between the two countries helps overcome all difficulties.

He said "we agreed to monitor the implementation of the agreements that had been reached. I would like to thank both delegations for the work to prepare the documents, including the agreements, understanding memos and the final protocol, for the meeting."

On his part, Rogozin,  who expected that Russian business will play an active role in economic recovery of Syria, said that the Russian companies will start work within the process of  rebuilding Syria after specific agreements were reached regarding custom facilitations and the exchange of goods between Syria and Russia.

"We are now stating that time comes for economic restoration and expect that Russia’s business will take a most active part in this process," the deputy prime minister said

Russia and Syria will launch a direct shipping line, according to Rogozin.

"Direct shipping line between Russian and Syrian ports is being created in parallel," Rogozin said, according to Itar Tass.

The agricultural goods are transported by the Oboronlogistika company, which is "interested in extending the services," he said.

During the meeting, Rogozin made it clear that the trade turnover between Russia and Syria soared 42% in seven months of 2017 year-on-year to $192.8 mln.

"The trade turnover between Russia and Syria increased almost 42% in January-July of 2017 compared with the same period last year to $192.8 mln, particularly, exports (from Russia) soared by more than 50% to $191 mln," he said, as quoted by Itar Tass.

According to Rogozin there is a plan to create a closed loop to grow, pack, store and export Syria-made vegetables and fruits to Russia in the near future.

Earlier, SANA reported that deliberations of the 10th session of the Syrian-Russian Joint Committee for Economic, Commercial, Scientific and Technical Cooperation kicked off Tuesday in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi.

A bilateral meeting was held earlier this morning between al-Moallem and Rogozin.

An expanded meeting at ministerial level co-chaired by al-Moallem and Rozogin was also held.

On Monday, the Syrian and Russian technical experts started their meeting in Sochi within the tenth session of Syrian-Russian joint committee for economic, trade, scientific and technical cooperation.

A number of Syrian and Russian businessmen took part in committee’s 10th session.

Hamda Mustafa