Syria, Iran Sign Economic, Health Agreements

(ST) - At the conclusion of the meetings of the Joint Syrian –Iranian Technical Economic Committees, the two sides signed a number of important agreements in the fields of oil, electricity, health, trade and constructing mills, namely: the minutes of a joint meeting to promote joint cooperation in the field of oil derivatives and to provide Syria with its needs from them.

 The minute was signed by the Syrian side, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, En. Suleiman Abbass, and the Iranian side, Special Advisor,  Minister of State for Economic Affairs, Hassan Kazemi Qumi.

A joint minute was also signed that included enhancing the mechanisms of cooperation between the two sides in the field of electric power, the establishment of new stations, the reconstruction and rehabilitation of some stations destroyed by armed groups in different areas, in addition to the health sector to ensure the needs of the Syrian side of medicines and equipment of hospitals and various medical equipment.

 The minute was signed by Secretary General of the Cabinet, Tayseer al- Z'oubi and the Iranian Minister of State for Economic Affairs, Hassan Kazemi Qumi.

Within the framework of the exchange of food products, the two sides agreed to exchange olive oil, citrus, yeast, chicken and flour in addition to sorts of agricultural products and the provision of some of the articles of sugar, tea, oil and coffee. They also signed an agreement on establishing and equipping five new mills in Syria and start immediately the implementation of two mills in Daraa and Sweida.

Prime Minister, Dr. Wa'il al -Halaqi, said that the positive and fruitful results, which resulted from the meetings of the Syrian - Iranian technical economic committees contribute to the promotion of joint distinguished strategic relations between the two peoples and two countries.

In the presence of  Mr. Kazemi and his accompanying delegation, Dr. Al -Halaqi expressed appreciation for the efforts made by the two sides in order to accelerate the development of agreements between them into practice to achieve the common interest of the two countries and peoples and promote relations between them in the various fields.

Dr. Al- Halaqi underlined the importance of the visit of the Iranian delegation to Syria and the implementation of agreements between the two sides, especially to start the implementation of the credit line to the flow of imports for the public and private sectors from Iran to Syria.

For his part, Mr. Qumi confirmed that the agreements between the two sides will be put into effect immediately and Iran will begin supplying Syria with the necessary material of food, medicine and oil derivatives and within the specified schedule to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people because of the sanctions and the unjust blockade by the United States and other Western countries.

Sh. al -Khatib

Despite Loss, Industrial Zones Continue Production

DAMASCUS, (ST) - Despite loss and damage hit the industrial zones which exceeded 180 billion Syrian Pounds and the cessation of 3360 facilities in the field of construction and 677 facilities in the domain of  production, a number of installations of these zones have continued working to supply local markets with necessary products.

In this context, Director of Industrial Zones, Eng. Akram Hassan, said that the volume of investments in the industrial Zone of Adra reached last year nearly 248.7 billion Syrian Pounds. One hundred billion Syrian Pounds were allocated to plants under construction, 92 billion Syrian Pounds for the plants subject to production, 56. 70 billion Syrian Pounds for factories under license while cumulative revenues amounted to 11.415 billion Syrian Pounds, surpassing the total spending estimated at 11.407 billion Syrian Pounds.  

Eng. Hassan pointed out that the total number of plants in Adra amounted to 522 factories, including 321 in the process of production and 201 plants under construction while the number of workers in the zone decreased.

With regard to the industrial Zone in al -Sheikh Najjar in Aleppo, Eng. Hassan explained that the total revenues of the Zone reached at the end of last year 10.426 billion Syrian Pounds, equivalent to 91 percent of the total expenditure on the implementation of the infrastructure that amounted to 11.491 billion Syrian Pounds.

The volume of investments reached 180 billion Syrian Pounds, 131 billion Syrian Pounds for the plants under production and 41.700 billion Syrian Pounds for the plants under construction and 408.7 billion Syrian Pounds for the plants under license.

"The number of plants in Sheikh Najjar fell to 188 because of the theft of   30 plants and the cessation of a large number of plants working in the field of production," Eng. Hassan said.

 The manager of the zones noted that the government had agreed to the proposals of the ministry to establish industrial zones in a number of governorates, including the establishment of an industrial zone in the area of Al –Roweiha in Idlib for setting up medium and light agro-industries.  

He also referred to an approval concerning setting up an industrial zone in Jebab town in Daraa near the international highway specialized in heavy and medium industries of multi-purposes and starting the establishment of an industrial zone in the area of Tel Kalkh in Homs.  

Necessary studies are conducted to establish an industrial zone in Umm al Zeitoun in Sweida with a financial contribution from the Industry Ministry estimated at 50 million Syrian Pounds.

For industrial zones, Eng. Hassan said that the ministry had followed up with the concerned authorities the implementation and financing of craft industrial zones amounted to 25. These zones have been chosen in coordination with the Ministry of Industry and the governorates, the General Union of Craftsmen and the Federation of Chambers of Industry and Commerce.

"Necessary funding and care will be given to implement, invest and develop these zones in order to accommodate small, medium and large industries," Eng. Hassan added.

He explained that funds with a value of 4.334 billion Syrian Pounds have been allocated since the beginning of the five-year plan and these allocations were  distributed to 101 industrial and craft zones in the various governorates.

The financial amount was distributed as follows:  815.5 million Syrian Pounds for the city of Hama, 754.55 million Syrian Pounds for Idlib, 543,5 million Syrian Pounds for Hassaka, 376,5 million Syrian Pounds for Aleppo, 368,15 million Syrian Pounds for Daraa, 327.27 million Syrian Pounds for Homs, 258,5 million Syrian Pound for Deir Ezzour, 239.5 million Syrian Pounds for Tartous, 214.5 million Syrian Pounds for Raqqa, 170 million Syrian Pounds for Lattakia, 162.1 million Syrian Pounds for Sweida, 73.75 million Syrian Pounds for Damascus and 30.4 million Syrian Pounds of Quneitra.

"The system of creation and investment of industrial and craft zones has been modified and circulated to all ministries, governorates and concerned bodies, pointing out that the amendment included various options to create, finance and invest industrial and craft zones," Eng. Hassan explained.

The modification law provided for opening a special budget of each zone and forming a committee comprising of representatives of concerned bodies for setting up zones.  A mandate was given to most governors to facilitate and accelerate the completion of procedures and investment.

Sh. Kh.

Syria-Iran seek to bolster economic ties

Damascus, (ST)-"Syria and Iran have deep-rooted, strategic and firm ties  in various fields .and Syria seeks to upgrade these ties under the newly Iranian leadership, "underscored Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi .

Al-Halqi's remark was made during a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister's Special Advisor for Economic Affairs, Hassan Kazemi Qomi and the accompanying delegation on Sunday .

The Prime Minister added that  the government has taken all necessary measures to facilitate the flow of Iranian goods into the Syrian market.

Kazemi, for his part, made it clear  that these meetings between both sides will push forward the efforts towards reaching practical steps on the commercial and economic levels.

"Iran will work on carrying out a number of  developmental  projects in Syria, especially in the fields of mills and electrical power, and will fulfill Syria's requirements  of essential materials, "asserted the Iranian diplomat.


Diversity of Agricultural Production Supports Economy

(ST) - Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade, Dr. Mohammad Zafer Mahbaq’ said the first processes of barter is very close to be applied, noting that the government's self-reliance in the import of supplies will ease the pressure on the foreign exchange demand.

Dr. Mahbaq attributed the delay in the mechanism of barter to a number of obstacles that encountered this process, notably how to coordinate relations of banking operations to pay values of trades and purchases because the unfair economic sanctions imposed on the Syrian people affected banking relationships in addition to cash and insurance on all matters relating to Syria.

Minister of Economy said that among the mechanisms is the existence of financing or credit facilities from friendly countries, in addition to the presence of frozen funds and Syria seeks to use these funds in the operations of import.

 He pointed out the large number of trading partners who support Syria in its fair positions and ensure the needs of the Syrian people, despite the unjust economic embargo imposed on the people.

The more sectors inflicted by the current crisis is the industrial sector, particularly the city of Aleppo represents the industrial bulk of the others, the minister added.

A large part of our local industries works in the scope of export and sometimes we import some of its raw materials, and the conspiracy included dismemberment of transport across the roads between cities, so the access of raw materials are not guaranteed to run factories.

 The industry is distinct from other sectors in producing and storing until it receives receipts of orders for the purpose of export, but the storage was targeted by burning, destruction and theft.

The terrorist acts aim at destroying the Syrian economy and hindering economic activity. Therefore, one of the main factors that strengthens our economy and steadfastness is its dependence on agriculture in an  important part of it, the minister concluded.

Sh. Kh.

Agriculture Ministry, ACSAD sign MoU on livestock

DAMASCUS, (ST) - The Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform and the Arab Center for the Studies of Arid Zones and Dry Areas "ACSAD" recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the development of livestock.

The MoU aimed at establishing a national system in Syria including a database for numbering farm animals and the development of the reality of producing veterinary vaccines produced locally in the ministry in coordination with the concerned authorities. The MoU also aimed at participating in the activities of field schools to sheep breeders in order to transfer modern technologies and some of the concepts related to the development of stockbreeding, care and marketing of products according to project strategies.

The MoU stipulated the preparation of a national system for numbering herds of livestock, identifying technical indicators for the national database concerning the record of the herd and areas that require support and developing the expertise of employees, especially the production of veterinary vaccines. The MoU also stressed on the coordination with the Agricultural Scientific Research Association to prepare an artificial insemination laboratory and ensure the necessary funding to accomplish all activities.

The MoU included training the Ministry's cadres in the laboratories of vaccine production according to international standards, providing technical studies required to create and equip a laboratory for the circulation the technique of industrial pruning technology.  The MoU underlined the need to ensure opportunities of scientific visits and training courses for the staff of the ministry and the project's partners at home and abroad.

The Minister of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform, Ahmed Qadri, confirmed that signing the MoU is the result of fruitful cooperation with ACSAD which reflected positively on the agricultural production through the development of new varieties of agricultural crops and improving the breeds of livestock.

For his part, Director General of ACSAD, Dr. Rafiq Ali Saleh, noted the importance of the memorandum signed in developing and improving the situation of livestock and raising the capabilities of national cadres in the areas of training and rehabilitation.

Sh. Kh.