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Small Enterprises Attract Government Attention


 (ST)- Small and medium-sized enterprises have recently acquired the government's attention over the past years through a number of measures, notably the establishment of Enterprises Development Body and supporting its projects by funding as well as rural development projects and the establishment of micro-finance, etc., but this interest has declined recently in spite of its necessity in the current crisis in which we live, which led to the exit of a large number of public and private economic establishments of production.

 What opens the door for small and medium-sized enterprises to be a substitute for that, at least in the current phase, which requires self-reliance of the available potentials, especially agricultural ones, which can be built upon as an axis for small projects to evolve later into the medium industries stage.

The careful consideration of these projects reveals the big advantages that can achieve a benefit of the national economy including  the investment of resources,  utilization of manpower, increasing productivity which doesn't require a big capital and the resulting employment opportunities, both packing, packaging, marketing and more important is the provision of goods at cheap prices to replace imported ones.  

This urges the government to provide the necessary funding and simplifying of procedures, drawing a map of the projects of the most important, the assistance in the studies of economic feasibility, commitment of the public bodies in marketing the production of projects at encouraging prices, increasing incentives for the most profitable projects and other of encouraging advantages and the preparation of a legislative structure that form the wide frame for these projects.

The experiences of other countries in small and medium-sized enterprises and the success in the transition to giant companies in different types of industries naturally emphasizes their importance as an input to overcome the crisis and achieve economic development within the available resources.

Sharif al –Khatib 

Director of Agricultural Investment:There Is a Need to Export Greater Quantity of Citrus


DAMASCUS, (ST) - Director of the Agricultural Economy and Investment at the Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform, Dr. Majd Ayoub, has underlined that there is an urgent need to export the largest possible quantity of citrus.

"It is expected that the production of the current season to exceed of 1.135 million tons, which is greater than the production of previous years and the largest percentage of production is orange," he added.

Dr. Ayoub said in a statement that the decision of the Ministry of Economy and Foreign Trade regarding stopping the export of some sorts of vegetables does not include citrus or any other type of fruit that the government has not prevented the export of citrus this year.

"During a qualitative meeting held recently to study the reality of production and marketing of citrus for the season 2013-2014 in the presence of the relevant authorities, it was agreed that General Establishment of Storage, and Marketing to sale the largest possible amount of production, including at least 150 thousand tons," Dr. Ayoub said. 

"The Central Association for Marketing Agricultural Products affiliated to the General Federation of Peasants is working on marketing a part of the production. The representative of Supporting Exports Association suggested to back the process of exporting citrus among the Syrian products," he clarified.

"The cultivation of citrus in Syria has become one of the important economic crops whereas a large number of residents of the Syrian coast and a number of households in some other governorates work as farmers in agriculture and its harvest in addition to the benefit of the owners of means of transport , traders, exporters and owners of manufacturing containers." Dr. Ayoub noted.

"The number of trees planted in Syria is about 14 million trees , including 8 million trees of orange and 2.5 million trees of lemon and the rest of different citrus, " Ayoub said according to statistics provided to the Ministry of Agriculture for the year 2011.

Syria is no.3 citrus producer in the Arab world after Morocco and Egypt and the seventeenth in the world for the production of citrus fruit which is characterized by cleanly from diseases and insects and the remaining impact of pesticides and toxic substances after the application of integrated pest management style and the adoption of a biological control method.

Sharif al Khatib

Agricultural Productivity Plan for Next Season Discussed


(ST)- Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform has recently approved three new determinatives, the first is to conduct a review and modify (if necessary) twice during the agricultural seasons, the second is to insert organic farming
for the first time in an area estimated at 33,000 hectares distributed at the country level, and the third is to emphasize on preservative agriculture for the second season (25 thousand hectares in Hasakah governorate and 1,300 hectares in Hama governorate).

The special meeting to discuss the agricultural productivity plan for the next season which was chaired by the Minister of Agriculture, Ahmed Qadri, and attended by Minister of Water Resources, Dr. Bassam Hanna, Chairman of the General Federation of Peasants, Head of the Federation of Chambers of Agriculture, General Manager of Agricultural Cooperative Bank, Ministries of Industry and Internal trade and Consumer Protection.

 During the meeting, the conferees stressed on supporting agricultural sector  to enhance its competitiveness and contribute to its development, ensuring food security, the integration of the agricultural sector with other sectors, the emphasis on the application of the laws that protect the natural resources of agricultural including land, water, the desert and forestry, the re-introduction of incentives in productive projects in order to achieve raise work efficiency, identifying economic priorities for producing agricultural crops and ensuring production requirements through the public and private sector in the quantities and the appropriate times.

They also underlined the need  of searching for alternatives of high economic revenues, developing scientific agricultural research extension, education, rehabilitation and resettlement of modern technologies, increasing the investments of private sector in irrigation sector and accelerating the implementation of irrigation projects, encouraging the establishment of marketing companies and institutions in all sectors to increase marketing opportunities, and the trend towards economic agriculture and developing programs for economic alternatives, focusing on services that support the production and promotion of agricultural research to do the necessary researches , and the need to pay more attention to livestock production and achieving  greater importance and integration in vegetable production.

Returning to the draft of agricultural productivity plan (which will be submitted to the Cabinet), figures of the Ministry of Agriculture have indicated that the plan for the wheat crop during the season (2013/ 2014) reached 4,000,809 tons, 1,000,622 tons of barley, 1,000,307 tons of sugar beet, 772 324 tons of cotton, 34204 tons of tobacco, increasing the area of the potato crop to meet the needs of growing population, 1,000,185 tons of olive, 430,000 tons of vine, 400,000 tons of apples, 78,000 tons of pistachios, 33,000 tons of pears, 1,000,268 tons of citrus, 595,000 tons of tomatoes, and 54,000 tons of cucumber.

Sharif al Khatib.

Olives Production in Quneitra


(ST)- Department of Quneitra Agriculture has estimated the governorate's production of olive for the current season about  6400 tones.

Director  of Quneitra Agriculture, eng. Naji Taqtaq has underlined that the area planted with olive trees is about 5537 hectares , an increase of 166 hectares from the last season, according to statistics of  Directorate of Agriculture,  and the cultivated area(growing on natural water supply)  is estimated at  4945 hectares and the number of trees (thriving on natural water supply) is estimated at  285.000 fruitful  trees .

The (watering) cultivated area amounts to 592  hectares , an increase of one thousand acres from the previous season and rate of 116 481 trees including  85 150 fruit trees , bringing the total fruitful olive trees in Quneitra about 370.000 trees .

The total production of (watering) olive is estimated at 2044 tons and the production of (Baal) olive is 3983 tons, so the total production for this year's olive harvest is estimated at 6,400 tons and an increase of about 350 tons from the last season and the expected production of olive oil is estimated at 1,500 tons .

Head of Fruit Trees Department,  Nasr Abdel Rahman,  pointed out that the agricultural plan in Quneitra for the agricultural season 2012 - 2013 attained an expansion in the cultivation of olive trees whereas the planted area reached about 170 hectares.


PM: New Credit Line Will Be Opened With Russia

(ST)- Prime Minister, Wa'il al -Halaqi, said the government will soon open a new line of credit with Russia, as a part of the economic measures taken by the government, with the aim of providing goods, foodstuffs and inundating the market. 

Dr. al Halaqi, during a meeting of commercial and industrial activities in the private and economic sector, pointed out the economic measures and legislation adopted by the government in order to provide commodity and goods to flood the market by increasing the activation of credit line with Iran and opening a new credit line again with the Russian Federation soon, in addition to the expansion of the positive intervention outlets, opening large exhibitions for shopping and activating the role of control over the markets. 

The Prime Minister stressed the importance of the central role of the private commercial and industrial sector, which is considered a reservist for the government in the development of the national economy, resources, boosting the country's potentials, ensuring requisites of living and daily needs of the citizens at affordable prices. 

He stressed that there is strategic actions taken by the Monetary and Credit Council and the Central Bank to ensure the stability of the exchange rate of the Syrian pound, which reflects positively on the reality of commodity prices in the market. 

The government, he added,  is keen to improve the living conditions of citizens and strengthening the capacity of the national economy. 

 Earlier, during a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, Deputy Prime Minister, Qadri Jamil, expressed hope "to reach an agreement with Russia on granting Syria a loan by the end of this year, saying that the talk about the size of the Russian loan is premature. 

This government recently agreed on the recommendation of the Economic Committee to facilitate the procedures for the supply of materials and goods of the Islamic Republic of Iran across the line of credit facility agreement, sale pricing mechanism of these materials and expanding sales outlets. 

 The government signed last January the line of credit facility agreement estimated at one billion dollar between the Commercial Bank of Syria and the Export Development Bank of Iran. 

The governor of Central Bank of Syria, Adib Mayaleh, said that Iran has recently made a line of credit to finance the import of goods worth one billion dollars and can be increased immediately after its depletion and another credit line worth at $ 3 billion to finance the needs of Syria of oil and oil derivatives. 

Sharif Al -Khatib