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Industry Ministry Reconsiders National Strategy to Develop Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises

DAMASCUS, (ST)- Ministry of Industry recently revealed that the Syrian Business and Enterprises Center (SBEC) has re-formulated the national strategy for the development of small and medium-sized enterprises in order to fully fit with the requirements of the stage and the challenges that have arisen about in the light of the Cabinet's directions.

The ministry showed that the objectives of the strategy focused on uniting the efforts of the parties concerned within the framework of a unified work and developing the Syrians' vision towards private enterprises and ensure data on small and medium enterprises. 

The strategy assumed creation of the national commission for small and medium-sized enterprises as an essential step to be carried out so to coordinate and implement the strategic orientations of the proposed projects between all government agencies concerned.

The ministry has proposed the adoption of a strategy of small and medium enterprises to provide the initial ground work to improve the private business in the sector of small and medium-sized enterprises. The ministry  called for waiting to create  the small and medium-sized enterprises' board, upon providing an integrated vision on the mechanism of creation the board and its functioning.

Regarding the financing by the Central Bank of Syria for small and medium enterprises, the study included the importance of the small and medium enterprises and a description of the reality of the moment in Syria and its ability to obtain the necessary funding for the exercise of their activities and procedures of the Central Bank of Syria to support this sector with revenues and a set of proposals to support and revitalize the work of small and medium enterprises.

The study examined the integration of small and medium enterprises and micro enterprises at the same time and this subject is not just economically. The process of dealing with micro-enterprises are quite different from the mechanism to deal with small and medium-sized enterprises from the state policy towards business strategy.

With regard to the proposal of funding for small and medium enterprises, the ministry showed that the central bank introduced an appropriate proposal for the funding process, but the proposal did not accompanied by a study of the expected impact to approve the funding mechanism.

It is necessary to prepare a study to evaluate  the impact according to two models, the second takes into account lower interest rates with the separation of interest rates between micro projects, small and medium-sized enterprises as well as to develop a proposal for an Islamic financing mechanism for these projects in order to reach the largest possible number of customers.

Concerning the future proposals, the ministry suggested the adoption of a strategy of small and medium enterprises to be the core vision for the development of the legislative and regular framework to convert these projects to a private joint-stock or normal companies.

Sharif al -Khatib

New Industrial Zones to be Established

DAMASCUS, (ST) - Director of the Industrial Cities, Eng. Akram al -Hassan, stated that the volume of work performed in all industrial cities reached until the beginning of last April to 530 billion Syrian Pounds (SP), mostly concentrated in the industrial cities of Adra and Hesya.

Eng. Hassan said in a statement that the industrial cities that were established after 2004 attracted many investors and about 50 percent of the specific areas were occupied, pointing out that the number of invested enterprises in the industrial cities all up to about 200 properties.

The Director pointed out that it was the finalization of the draft decree on the creation of the industrial city, which has been approved recently to be set up in the area of Jbab in Daraa governorate on an area of up to 250 hectares for the establishment of heavy and medium industries of multipurpose.

Concerning  the three industrial areas that have been approved to be set up, Eng. Hassan  clarified that the decisions have been issued by the Minister of Local Administration and organizational charts and procedures for the acquisition and implementation of some infrastructure projects are prepared , pointing out that it was the demand of the governorates concerned began to prepare a timetable for the implementation and put them to invest and later the ministry will be communicated to the need of areas of the appropriations to be monitored in the coming years budgets.

He pointed out that the first area will be in the region of Talkalkh in Homs Governorate on an area of 50 hectares initially and the second in the area of Umm al Zeitoun in Sweida Governorate on an area of 728 hectares. Thearea will be allocated to industries of second and third sorts with a financial contribution from the ministry amounted to 50 million Syrian pounds of credits allocated to them in 2013 and the third in the area Alrweiha in Idleb Governorate on an area of 74 hectares for the establishment of agro-industries, medium and light.

The Director of the Cities said that the ministry follows up with the concerned authorities the implementation and financing of industrial zones amounted to 25 areas that have been selected in coordination with the Ministry of Industry, the governorates, the General Union of Craftsmen and the Federation of Chambers of Industry and Commerce.

These areas must be given more attention,  follow-up, providing the necessary funding to implement and invest and develop in order to accommodate small, medium, large and non-polluting industries.

 “The creation and investment system of industrial zones has been modified and it was circulated to all ministries, governorates and bodies concerned explaining that the amendment included various options to make financing and investment industrial zones including opening a special budget of each region and the formation of a committee comprising representatives of stakeholders, investors and give more flexibility to facilitate and accelerate the completion of procedures and investment,” Eng. Hassan concluded.


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Forecast: Production of 809 Tons of Walnut for 1833 Tons of Almonds

IDLEB, (ST) - Chairman of the Plant Production Department at the Directorate of Idleb Agriculture, Eng. Ahmad Barad, predicted that the production of walnuts crop for the current agricultural season is about 809 tons against 1833 tons of almonds.

Eng. Barad said in a statement that the number of walnut trees in the governorate is 32 155 trees, the productive trees are 28903 and the number of almond trees is 123 225 trees,  the productive trees are 115585 distributed in different areas of the governorate, especially Ariha, Kufr Takharim, Harem, Jesr al Shoghour,  Armanaz and Silqin.

The cultivation of walnut and almond trees received an overwhelming response from farmers due to the increase of domestic consumption of fruit and the vogue of its internal and external trade, a result of their use in the manufacture of sweets and pastries, jams and other food industries.

Sh. Kh.

Outlook Production of 994 Tons of Maize in Hama

HAMA, (ST) – Department of Hama Agriculture estimated the production of the corn crop, both yellow and white for the current agricultural season, at 994 tons.

Head of the Crops Department in the governorate, eng. Safwan Kazkaz said in a statement: "The maize cultivation is concentrated around the waterways, particularly the course of the Orontes River and there is highly response to such sort of cultivation for the low cost in those areas, pointing out that the cultivation of this crop does not need a lot of effort.

Head of Economic Affairs Department in the governorate, Eng. Mowafaq al -Najjar, clarified  that the total area planted of crop corn is approximately 3832 dunums, some 3318 dunums are planted with yellow maize and the anticipated production is 963 tons, while the planted area with white maize is 514 dunums and the expected production is 31 tons, pointing out that farmers have put large amounts of maize in the markets of the governorate to meet the need of the local market which is witnessing a rise in prices of this crop.

Sh. Kh.

Deputy Premier : Economic Blockade on Syrian People Unjust

DAMASCUS, (ST) - Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs and Minister of Internal Trade and Consumer Protection,  Dr. Qadri Jamil, underlined that the unjust economic blockade imposed on the Syrian people is one of the main reasons for the high prices of goods and food in addition to the lack of bank transfers and high transport fares, pointing out that the government has taken several measures to alleviate the impact of the crisis on citizens.

During the seminar, which was organized by the National Council of Media on Sunday at Dar al -Baath about "Economic Policy at Times of War and the Role of Media", Dr. Jamil pointed out that the solution to the economic crisis in Syria from now on requires "the development of the government statement and mapping clear economic policies instead of urgent actions."

He explained that the government is making great efforts with friendly countries to prevent outside interference in the internal affairs of Syria and let the Syrian people solve its internal problems by himself, pointing out that we are at a critical stage requiring exceptional measures based on "government and an economy of war."

"The government and after the approval of the draft law Supply and pricing is currently working on the passage of the administrative pricing law during a maximum period of two weeks which would be 80 percent of the goods and commodities priced in all regions and governorates pointing to the need to support and strengthen the tools to intervene positively to cope with such crises," Dr. Jamil clarified.

He explained that the government, since it was formed, had been involved in crisis management, where its statement did not include strategic economic policies, but "urgent action towards citizens' basic issues" such as bread, flour and fuel in light of the unjust economic blockade imposed on the Syrian people.

"There is no radical solution to the economic crisis without a political comprehensive solution," he added.

He stressed the need to "hit the web of corruption with an iron fist and fight the corrupts" because they steal the bit of the citizen under these difficult circumstances and preparing a suitable ground for terrorists in addition to raising the slogan of "justice in the deprivation of all citizens" at all levels and to mobilize all the resources of the state and its energies towards supporting the army.

 For the high exchange rate of the dollar against the Syrian pound, Dr. Jamil thinks that the dollar exchange rate will fall to its lowest level if the government could ensure all basic materials for citizens and intervene in all outlets calling to "maintain a cash reserve of foreign exchange until the state can finance imports and sell to citizens at the subsidized price".

Dr. Jamil called on to assist the economic national media to take its role in the eradication of corruption and the fight against corrupt with the participation of all living forces of society, especially the fight against corruption is part of the grand national battle in Syria.

For his part, Head of the National Media Council, Dr. Mohammed Razzouk, pointed out that Syria is facing the fiercest and toughest war in its history, especially that this war in its own economic side is trying to demolish the Syrian state and its construction so that it becomes y unable to carry out its duties towards its citizens.

Sharif al -Khatib