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Labour Minister: Supporting, Developing SMEs Important

Damascus, (ST) - Minister of Labour, Dr. Hassan Hijazi, underlined the importance of supporting and developing the small and medium enterprises by all concerned ministries and authorities, pointing out that the Ministry of Labour attaches importance to the issue of training entrepreneurs and the need for access to funding that is supposed to fit the needs of those who have the ability to set up these projects.

During a meeting included the Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade, Dr. Mohammed Zafer Mahbaq, and General Director of the Public Authority for Operation, Mujahid Abdullah, Dr. Hijazi underlined necessity of activating the bodies concerned with training, technical and vocational education, developing programs aimed at youth employment and turning it to a tangible evidence to take advantage of all available energies.

For his part, Minister of Economy pointed out that the separation of the Ministry of Social Affairs from Labor Ministry allowed to the new ministry to do more actively and provide service to the labor market, stressing that it is necessary to develop the body dealing with Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

He also called to find a compromising formula between the Ministries of Economy and  Labour and the General Authority for Operation to unify visions to take advantage of all experiences of our existing expertise which is considered a national treasure.

For his part, Director General of the General Authority for Operation stressed the need to complete the tools of the body’s work by linking the mechanisms of granting licensing, guarantee of loans and financing of non-financial services provided by the current Authority.

Sh. Kh.

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