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Syrian-Iranian Business Committee: Overcoming Obstacles to Economic Projects inSyria

Deliberations of the Syrian-Iranian Business Development Follow up Committee recently began in Tehran chaired by the Secretary General of the Presidency of the Cabinet, Taysir al –Zou'bi , and Undersecretary of the Ministry of Roads and Housing of Iran, Nour Salhi, and in the presence of members of both delegations.

During the talks, the two sides discussed ways to promote economic cooperation between the two brotherly countries and practical mechanisms for the use of the credit line worth one billion dollars to finance projects and necessary supplies to meet the needs of the Syrian market of food commodities and basic needs . Syria's Ambassador in Tehran, a number of deputies of ministers and directors-general attended the meeting.

The two sides also discussed the difficulties that hinder the mechanism of contracts executed by the Iranian companies in Syria and ways to strengthen the appropriate structure of work to further the presence of Iranian companies in Syria to implement projects in the different sectors and achieve good and mutual benefit and common interest of the two brotherly countries.

The two sides stressed their firm determination to work hard to overcome the obstacles that hinder the process of economic projects in Syria and enhance the economic cooperation to face challenges of the current situation.

Mr. Al –Zou'bi expressed appreciation for the positions of principle to Iran in support of Syria noting that "unity of purpose requires us to work hard to overcome difficulties and challenges and that serve the interests of the two countries and the two peoples."

Three joint committees were formed including industry, energy, water, sanitation, transport and oil refineries in order to enhance the process of  bilateral cooperation and overcome difficulties for companies and projects operating in Syria.

Sh. Kh.

Singapore plans electricity futures market launch by end-2014

SINGAPORE, (Xinhua) -- The Singapore Exchange (SGX) said on Monday that it has been preparing for the launch of Asia's first electricity futures market by the end of 2014.

"SGX is working closely with the EMA (Energy Market Authority), Energy Market Company (EMC) and market participants to design the futures products," it said in a statement, adding that the launch is still subject to regulatory approval.

The progress was also announced by S Iswaran, minister in the Prime Minister's Office and second minister for home affairs and second minister for trade and industry, at the Singapore International Energy Week on Monday.

The Energy Market Authority held a public consultation last year on the development of an electricity futures market in Singapore. It issued a request-for-interest paper in May this year, setting out the proposed design of the futures market. Six companies showed their interest.

The minister said that the commercial discussions are in progress for the development of the futures market, and that an industry workgroup is in the process of developing the design of the electricity futures contracts.

"We hope that the electricity futures market will be launched sometime in the second half of 2014," he said.

SGX is working with the industry to launch a trial run next year so as to allow generation companies to build up competencies and experience in trading and market making.

Iswaran said Singapore is considering the introduction of electricity futures market to complement the spot market.

"A futures market will help large electricity consumers to better manage price volatility by allowing them to secure longer- term prices," he said, adding that it will also spur retail competition to the benefit of end-consumers.

Sh. Kh

Syrian-European Complex to Develop Cooperation

(ST)- Ministry of Industry in cooperation with the Syrian -European Complex for Heavy Industries held  today at the headquarter of the ministry a lecture about the activities of the complex,  the areas of production and the prospects for cooperation between the two sides .

The complex, which takes from Hisya city as a headquarter, is producing turbines, assembling  of electric motors, cans of speed, oil rigs and hulls of giant structures,  furnaces of cement and large tanks of fuel, in addition to the supply of electrical and mechanical equipment and spare parts for all industrial sectors to all plants in the Middle East, in cooperation with dozens of factories in Europe and the world.

Sh. kh

Syrian Imports from Russia to Reach Between 15%- 40%

DAMASCUS, (ST)- Deputy Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade, Dr. Hayan Suleiman, said that figures of Syria's foreign trade with Russia, in particular imports, had risen recently.

"In the framework of the government's plan to activate relations towards east, a Syrian delegation representing the Ministry of Economy and Foreign Trade, Syrian Business Center and Export Centre visited Moscow recently and discussed with the Russian side means of activating economic relations, referring to the willingness of the Russians to develop these relations in the field of industry, commerce and even agriculture," Dr. Suleiman said.

"The Syrian- Russian Business Center will be one of the most important pillars of economic ties with Russia after the activation of the center latetly, indicating that the majority of its members from the private sector, which will provide the priorities of the Syrian needs imported from Russia, due to the important role being played by the private sector in providing these imports," Dr. Suleiman pointed out.

Concerning the proportion of the Syrian foreign trade with Russia, the Deputy Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade said that this percentage had increased significantly by doubling over the last period of up to 15%, after it was previously not more than 3- 4% just before the year 2010, expressing optimism that the ratio will rise to 40% by virtue of  the development of economic relations between the two countries.

"This development in economic cooperation is surely in the interest of Syria, taking into account that the general trend 'going east' is based on the transfer of all economic weight in the relations with the countries of the European Union to Russia, the BRICS group and the Organization of Economic Shanghai, due to the gravity of Russia in these economic blocs," Dr. Suleiman underlined.

Regarding the most Syrian imports from Russia currently include finished goods and industrial facilities as well as foodstuff, medical supplies and other, noting that the agreement with Russia provides for exporting fruits, vegetables and other of goods that Syria has a sufficiency of them.

"Syria  signed agreements in all fields, particularly in the area of banks and monetary, pointing to other agreements concluded with Russian banking institutions, in addition to the agreement on the establishment of a group of exhibitions," Dr. Suleiman commented.

Deputy Minister of Economy also revealed for a request from Syria to make a business center similar to the Syrian- Russian Business Center with Iran located in Damascus, and the line of credit, between Syria and Iran, is a new way of economic dealing.

"Some difficulties will encounter this credit line when dealing with it for the first time, taking into account the treatment of these difficulties, stressing that the establishment of this line in front of the private sector as it is available in front of the public sector would unite the Syrian economic sector to provide Syria's supplies of all goods and commodity, considering the credit line as a peculiar step in the development of economic relations between Syria and Iran.," Dr. Suleiman concluded.

Sharif al-Khatib

Putin, Singh give high marks to Russian-Indian trade-economic relations

Russian President Vladimir Putin has given high marks to Russian-Indian trade turnover, adding that it should be higher,according to Voice of Russia.

"We are developing active economic ties. We are happy not only about the amount of trade turnover, which, of course, can and should be higher, but the main thing is the quality of trade turnover, which is largely composed of products of a high added value," Putin said during a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday.

Russia and India are actively working together in all spheres, including military-technical cooperation and defense, he said.

A joint anti-terrorist military training is now taking place in India, Putin said.

Both countries are actively working together in the sphere of politics in the UN, BRICS, etc., Putin noted.

Singh, in turn, gave high marks to the diversification of trade-economic relations between Russia and India.

"It's good that we have good and permanent progress in our relations in various spheres such as defense, energy, IT, and also tourism, trade, and investment. We have good cooperation in international forums, which is developing, such as BRICS, G20, and the Southeast Asia summit," Singh said, reiterating that the two countries have a "special, privileged strategic partnership".