SFAC: Reducing Impact of the Crisis on Future of Livestock

DAMASCUS, (ST) - Technical Advisor of the Syrian Federation of Agriculture Chambers (SFAC), eng.  Abdul Rahman Qrunfleh, called for intensify efforts to reduce the effects of the crisis, that Syria has experienced, on the future of livestock development and deterioration of productivity that threatens the future of producing herds and future generations.

In a statement to reporters, eng. Qurunfleh, underlined the importance of the contribution of  fodders’ suppliers in private sector and the General Foundation for Fodders to ensure fodders from cheap sources for the herds of livestock in addition to offering loans from the Agricultural Cooperative Bank (ACB) and helping  suppliers of fodders in public and private sectors to provide the necessary funding to secure Syria’s need of fodders and taking the necessary measures to reduce the impact of the restrictions imposed by the regulations, which restrict the work of the bank.

He noted that the crisis in Syria has been a reason to deprive sheep and goats from visiting pastoral areas and take advantage of the free natural vegetation and impeding the movement of sheep and not moving the products of breeders of dairy and wool to markets in addition to the reduction of implementing the plans, programs and projects of the Ministry of Agriculture aimed at developing livestock in general and the development of the productivity of natural pastures and sheep in particular.

He explained that the cows were affected sharply due to the ceasing of factories of fodders and factories producing cake cotton and peel cotton in Aleppo as well as the exposure of some warehouses in more than one governorate to looting, theft and vandalism.

He clarified to the decline in the implementation of preventive immunizations rates for livestock as a result of the inability of veterinary technicians to get the vaccine and not being able to reach the areas of livestock in other cases. This fact led a large number of sheep breeders to sell half of their herds to spend on feeding the other half.

Sh. Kh.

Intervention in the Foreign Exchange Market Next Week- Mayaleh

DAMASCUS,(ST)_The  Governor of the Central Bank of Syria Dr. Adib Mayaleh  announced that the bank has drafted  package of  decisions on  the  mechanism  of the exchange rate of the Syrian pound SP .

In a statement on Wednesday , Mayaleh said  that the central bank will remain the key player in the foreign exchange market and will intervene positively  to correct any deviations in the SP exchange rate as hard currencies  will be sold  to banks and exchange institutions  at prices that  ensure SP stability at acceptable levels.

"The central bank 's first  intervention in the foreign exchange market will begin early next week." Mayaleh said.

He stressed that the  new mechanism ensures reduction irregular market activity , stressing that the reserves of the Central Bank foreign exchange are strong and ensure continued intervention in the foreign exchange market to maintain SP exchange rate stability and not to be  manipulated.

"The government is taking supportive package of measures that will preserve the SP  purchasing power and maintain citizen 's living standard." He concluded.


T. Fateh

Government endorses zero customs duty on imported Iranian fuel

DAMASCUS,(ST)_The cabinet convened on Tuesday and tackled economic, services and political situation in the country.

Prime Minister, Dr. Wael al-Halqi, urged ministers to closely observe works in all state establishments and to ensure citizens' basic requirements across Syria, highly appreciating the Syrian Arab Army's efforts to hunt down terrorists everyplace in order to re-transport basic needs to all provinces.

He also underscored need for combating corruption in public sector through reactivating the role of ministerial committees.

The ministers reviewed difficulties that face services and economic sectors as a result of armed terrorist groups' acts, noting what has been achieved so far to deal with this matter.  

On the other hand, the cabinet endorsed a bill for exempting fuel, gas and gasoline imported from Iran from all customs duties until June, 30th, 2013.

As for political situation, the PM briefed ministers on results of talks held with different political and social parties to launch comprehensive national dialogue, citing President Bashar al-Assad's directives in this regard.  

Basma Qaddour  

New Prospects for Syrian- Russian, Chinese Oil Relations

DAMASCUS,(ST)_ Minister of Oil and Mineral Resources Suleiman Abbas reviewed on Thursday with the ambassadors of Russia and China in Damascus  oil  and exploration investment opportunities in open areas and in the Syrian territorial waters. He invited   Russian and Chinese companies to participate in these projects.

In two separate meetings,  the minister discussed with the two ambassadors cooperation  relations between the oil ministry the  Russian  and Chinese companies in oil and gas exploration and possibilities of cooperation in the development of existing fields to increase output , import  oil industry  equipment and prospects of  boosting  such  cooperation for  mutual interest.

Discussions dealt with oil projects implemented by Russian and Chinese companies in Syria, and the minister appreciated these companies continued work in Syria under the current circumstances.

The minister indicated  prospects for new discoveries as exploration work  in the Eastern Mediterranean  showed worthwhile discoveries in Egypt, Palestine, Cyprus and Lebanon, pointing out that the US Geological research center issued a report estimating  the potential available in the Levantine  basin which extends from southern occupied Palestine to  Lattakia  in the north and  Cyprus to the  West , up to 3455 billion cubic meters of gas and 3 billion barrels of  condensed  gas by products.

The minister expressed Oil Ministry desire to cooperate with Russian and Chinese companies specialized  in marine exploration.

The two ambassadors emphasized the depth of cooperation between their two countries and  Syria in all fields, especially in the fields of oil and gas, stressing  direct cooperation and coordination in this regard.


T. Fateh

BRICS reach deal on development bank

The BRICS grouping of emerging powers on Tuesday reached a deal to establish a development bank that would rival Western-backed institutions, South Africa's finance minister said.

"It's done," minister Pravin Gordhan said after meeting with his counterparts from Brazil, Russia, India and China,according to SABC NEWS.

"We made very good progress, the leaders will announce the details," he added, just hours before a summit in the South African port city of Durban.

The bank is likely to focus on infrastructure financing, a direct challenge to seven decades of dominance by the World Bank.

It is the first time since the inaugural BRICS summit four years ago that the group matches rhetorical demands for a more equitable global order with concrete steps.

Together the BRICS account for 25% of global GDP and 40% of the world's population. But members say institutions like the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations Security Council are not changing fast enough reflect their new-found clout.

In the face of competing policy demands, BRICS negotiators had been under pressure to come up with an agreement that proves the grouping is relevant.

And to reach a deal that would send a strong message to the United States and Europe that the current balance of power is untenable. But an Indian diplomat involved in the talks told AFP many of the details are likely to be left for another day, allowing leaders to announce a deal, however tentative.

The bank is not likely to be up and running for years. Brazil's central bank chief also told AFP there was also good progress made on a deal to establish currency swap lines, which is likely to be worth in the region of $100 billion.  "We are working on it," said Alexandre Tombini.

The fund would be used to draw on in times of liquidity or other  crises and to encourage trade. Securing both deals is a thumb in the eye to those who argue the BRICS is little more than a talking shop for disgruntled nations.

It is also a boon for BRICS leaders many who have tethered their  reputations to a deal. Xi Jinping has underscored the growing importance of the group by making Durban his first summit as China's president.

  In a keynote speech in Tanzania on Monday Xi vowed Beijing's "sincere friendship" with the continent, and a relationship that respects Africa's "dignity and independence."

  Diplomats say it could start with $10 billion seed money from each country, but the exact role of the bank is up for debate.

Meanwhile host President Jacob Zuma has lauded the summit as a means of addressing his country's chronic economic problems including high unemployment. "BRICS provides an opportunity for South Africa to promote its competitiveness" Zuma said in a speech on the eve of the summit.

"It is an opportunity to move further in our drive to promote economic growth and confront the challenge of poverty, inequality and unemployment that afflicts our country."

Meanwhile China would no doubt like the bank to invest in trade-multiplying projects. The currency swaps would open the door for BRICS countries to tap some of China's massive $3.31 trillion foreign reserves, the world's largest.

Brazil also signed a bilateral accord with China to promote trade in their national currencies. BRICS leaders will also establish business and think tank councils and launch an investigation into how trade can be more balanced, with other BRICS countries exporting more to China.