Economy Minister calls for meeting citizens' requirements

Damascus, (S.T) –How to go ahead in providing Syrian citizens with basic need at suitable prices in the light of current circumstances is the main concern of the government.

Dr. Mohammad Zafer Mihbek , Minister of  Economy and Foreign Trade, called upon parties concerned to identify basic needs of strategic importance and draw up a plan to ensure goods in markets to meet citizens' needs.

Addressing the Board of Directors of the General Establishment of Foreign Trade on Saturday, Dr. Mihbek said: "The establishment is playing a key role in importing and ensuring the internal markets' needs of all goods."

He asserted that the newly-formed board of directors has to adopt decisions that serve national economy through following up objective mechanism according to economic developments.

As a long-term goal, the ministry is planning to establish partnership with private sector to ease goods' movement, according to SANA.

For his part, the Establishment's Director General stressed that the staff is working around the clock to ensure citizens' needs despite blockage imposed on Syria.

Mohammad Hammoud pointed out that recent deals sealed to ensure food and non-food items. 



Exportation Promotion and Development Agency GD: We are working to establish "The Syrian Export House"


"The Ministry of Economy and Foreign Trade considers  the Syrian exports a strategic means and a very important message to the entire  world that Syria is the country of civilization and  deep-rooted sublime values, General Director of the Exportation Promotion and Development Agency(EPDA), Ehab Esmandar said.

" the quality of the exported products reflects the  identity and the nature of the country they come from so there is no need to visit the country to know about it, the products that we receive from it will give us a clear idea about the cultural, social and economic components of it,"added Esmandar.

Regarding  (EPDA) work process, Esmandar made it clear  that the key areas the Agency is technically working at is linked to three axis . The first axis is the Marketing and Promotion one. It  Mainly based on the publicity and briefing others on the Syrian various and distinguished export products via basic channels such as holding the Permanent Show for the Syrian Products. Electronic marketing is also one of the most important activities carried out by the (EPDA) as regards the said matter.

The second axis is training and rehabilitation. This job is basically done by the Foreign Training Center and the Commercial Information Center. These two centers organize several courses for training and rehabilitating those who are interested in the field of export. A number of experts and specialists are brought to help exporters   overcome the difficulties hindering their work.

The last axis is the cost cut, which focuses on specific commodities which are of a certain significance for Syrian exports  where direct support is determined for these goods by reducing  their production costs.

" the agency has new ideas for strengthening cooperation relations with the Business Center so as to establish the Syrian Trade Center in the countries that we want to reactivate commercial exchange with,"clarified Esmander.

These centers consist of permanently showrooms for the Syrian products and showrooms for sale . He said that there is the idea of setting up a "Syrian Export House" in a number  of countries across the globe . It is  more comprehensive than the mall .It contains a permanent show location  for the Syrian products prepared for export and a restaurant  for Syrian food as well as  private facilities for Syrian cultural activities.

Mr. Esmandar pointed out to the Agency's seek to issue more studies on the targeted markets that contribute to the discharge of Syrian products as new or additional markets we add to the existing markets stressing that the Agency is interested in studies that serve researchers and interested exporters and anyone who wants to deal with the Syrian economy as a whole.

Amal Farhat


Syria ranks 4th in world olive oil production

Syria is well known through the world as one of the largest producers of olive and olive oil. This particular sector of agricultural industry within Syria covers an area of 532,000 hectares and totals 76 million olive trees.

It is estimated that there are approximately 850 million olive trees in the world, 98% are in the Mediterranean countries.

During the 2004 - 2005 season, Europe produced 69% putting the country in the 2nd place following Europe and in 4th place behind Spain, Italy and Greece.

The Syrian government is keen on developing the agricultural sector, particularly the growing of olive due to its importance in boosting the national economy. It exerted intensive efforts to increase productivity through carrying out reclamation projects providing saplings, loans and drawing up programmes that aim to combat diseases.

The planted areas and the number of olive trees in Syria have increased from 241,000 hectares and 26 million trees in 1980 to 532,000 hectares and 76 million trees in 2004. Productivity also has increased from 300,000 tons including 54,000 tones olive oil in 1980 - 1981, to one million tons in 2003- 2004 and 200, 000 tones.

In 2003 Syria attained self- sufficiency and exported more than 300,000 tons of olive oil to Arab and foreign countries.

The amount of olive oil production in 2005 referred to 700,000 tons. Local consumption of oil for 2004 reached 120,000 tons.

The development of this agriculture sector in line with the government's plan to plant 1-2 million trees per year will increase the surplus and create some challenges that may have impact on quality, marketing, guarantee of safe storage and other  facilities as production was about 85,000 tons in 2010 and storage capacity is not sufficient.

Director of Agriculture Bureau in Daraa, Eng. Abdulfattah         al Rahhal, said that the amount of olive oil production for this year 2012-  2013 is expected to reach 84, 000 tons and the expected production of olive oil is expected to reach 10,000 tons.


The total number of olive trees in the governorate is estimated at 6,3 million trees. Those trees cover an area of 24918 hectares in dry areas and 5463 hectares in irrigated areas, eng. Al Rahhal added.

It is worthy mentioned that the production in Daraa reached over 70, 000 tons last year. The governorate has 40 modern olive oil pressers and the production capacity of those pressers reaches 3250 tones of olive per day.

Deputy Director of Agriculture Bureau in Quneitra, Eng. Shaman Jumah, said that the planted area with olive oil in the governorate is estimated at 5371 hectares.

 The trees, including fruitful trees, in dry areas cover 49454 dunums and 5917 hectares in irrigated areas. The total amount of olive trees reaches 955,000, Eng. Jumah said.

The total production for this year 2012- 2013 is expected to reach 6027 tons, he added.

The plan in Quneitra for the agricultural season 2012- 2013 has witnessed enlarging in planting olive trees whereas the area is estimated at 170 hectares and the number of the saplings is estimated at 27200, Eng. Jumah concludedd.


Sh/ Kh


PM inaugurates kafar Sousse services complex

DAMASCUS, (S.T) _ The Syrian government is going ahead in offering best services to citizens and carrying out development projects across Syria despite the terrorist groups' sabotage acts that target country's infrastructure, particularly power plants, oil and gas pipelines and water plants.

The remark was made on Monday by Prime Minister, Dr.Wael al-Halqi, during the opening ceremony of the SP165 mln-cost Kafer Souseh complex in Damascus, that consists of several services directorates.

"Syria will come out of its crisis victorious and stronger thanks to the armed forces' sacrifices and the Syrian people's steadfastness," said the PM.

He called on workers at the directorates to use up-to-date technology to facilitate measures before citizens, noting that similar complexes are due to be set up in other Syrian provinces.

On the other hand, the PM laid the foundation stone of the housing units' project in Bab Sharqi suburb in Damascus.

The said project is scheduled to contain 320 apartments.

Moreover, inspected works at another housing units project being carried out for those whose houses at illegal areas have been notified of demolition.

The SP380mln-cost project is a housing complex comprised of 12 floors with 120 apartments and shops.

"These projects came within the framework of the government's efforts to provide citizens with best services in all sectors, including that of  housing, through drawing up future plans and programs to carry out the largest number of housing units," said the Premier.

He indicated that the number of apartments in these housing projects is up to 1500, and they are scheduled to be delivered within next months.

Basma Qaddour

Syria, Iran for more Agricultural Cooperation

Damascus(ST) the means of strengthening bilateral cooperation between Syria and Iran, particularly expanding the agricultural exports between the two friendly countries are the main issues discussed in the meeting recently held by Minister of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform, Subhi al-Abdullah with Assistant of the Iranian Ambassador in Damascus, Abbas Kanro,

Al-Abdullah stressed Syria's keenness on reactivating cooperation relation between the two countries in the different aspects of agriculture as well as opening the Iranian markets for the surplus of the Syrian agricultural products, particularly citrus and olive oil.

Al-Abdullah stressed the desire to enhance cooperation in the veterinary health sector especially in the field of producing of foot-and-mouth vaccines through  setting up a laboratory in Syria to achieve sufficiency in this field.

For his part, Kanro stressed Iran's keenness for enhancing  agricultural cooperation between the two sides, referring to his country's desire to import a number of Syrian agricultural products especially the Awassi sheep.

Amal Farhat