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"Syrian Exportation House" Future EDPA Project to Promote Exports

The Export Development and Promotion Agency (EDPA) has stressed that it will continue to support exporters during 2013 and that no amendments are made to the list of exports enjoying the EDPA support.

 "The agency is keen to support the exporters who have submitted support applications to the agency," said the EDPA Director General Eahab Smandar in a recent statement to the local press, clarifying that the agency hasn't so far earmarked any funds for exports.

''The EDPA is currently working hard to presenting the idea of establishing a Syrian exportation house for investment in cooperation between the government and the business sector," Smandar said, adding that the agency is also keen to work out special studies on promoting the Syrian products in foreign markets.

He stressed that the export-import activities have witnessed notable decline due to the repercussions of the current crisis in Syria and the West's unjust economic siege on the country.

Smandar pointed out that the EDPA is preparing a detailed analysis on the trade agreements signed between Syria and other Arab and foreign countries.

"A number of Syrian businessmen have established companies in different European countries aiming at promoting the Syrian products in Europe," Smandar said, referring in this connection to the Syrian exports centers established by Syrian businessmen in Tehran and Moscow and to other centers to be established in Iraq and Ukraine.

He hailed the EDPA keen efforts to promote the Syrian products situation in foreign markets and world exhibitions.

Smandar added the EDPA is currently studying the establishment of ''the Syrian House for Exportation'' in a number of countries to hold diverse activities, stressing that establishing such a house is an investment project aiming not only to enhance Syrian exports but also to promote Syrian culture.

 "This project has many advantages as it consolidates the relation between government bodies and businessmen who are interested in exportation and culture promotion," Smandar said.

According to him, the Syrian House for Exportation will include a permanent hall for exhibiting Syrian products, centers for holding Syrian cultural activities, bureaus for investment and tourism promotion in addition to offices for Syrian expatriates and different administrative activities.

Rawaa Ghanam

Syria to participate in Gulfood 2013

Ten Syrian companies are due to take part in the Gulfood 2013, the world's biggest annual food and hospitality show, to be held in Dubai.

Export Development and Promotion Agency said the four-day event which would be kicked off on February 25 in cooperation with the Syrian Exporters Federation (SEF) is to positively affect national economy.

The agency's statement issued on Saturday cited that the Syrian food industries have enjoyed, in the last years, a good reputation in foreign markets because of the high quality.

According to SANA, the Gulfood 2013 is to show more than 50.000 brands.

Agency's plan

Last week, the agency declared that it is planning to participate in 58 exhibitions to be mounted in German, the UAE, Japan, China, Uzbekistan, Iran, Egypt, Russia, Iraq, France, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, Algeria, Tunisia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, India, and Armenia.

The declaration clarified that 17 exhibitions are specialized in textile, 13 ones in food and agriculture, 10 ones in building ad engineering, 10 ones in chemical and medicine, and 8 international ones.

The "Al-Thawra"daily reported that the agency asked state ministries to inform it about the exhibitions they want to take part in to adopt necessary measures for participation.

"The agency is to bear 50% of the whole cost of the participation," the paper said.

Basma Qaddour

Decline in chemical industries products

Terrorist acts and the unfair economic sanctions targeted the Syrian peoples  livelihood and resources, have directly contributed to a big decline in production of many Syrian industrial companies and institutions especially the General Establishment for Chemical Industries.

The production in 2012 reached a value of S.P 5, 8 million according to 2011 figures and that the establishment sales reached S.P 8,455 billion representing only 45% of the planned sales for 2011 which was estimated at 18, 7 billion SP , according to the Establishment production report.

The Establishment stocks were priced at 1, 6 billion S.P. by the end of 2012, receded to 213 million S.P.

The report referred to the difficulties in implementing the plans resulting from the emergency conditions in the country and the obstacles that hinder the process of product marketing, including difficulties in electricity power supplies, transporting necessary row materials and commodities.

   Khaled falhoot

SIA: Investment outside Industrial Zones a Necessity for Medium-Sized Projects

 Director General of the Syrian Investment Agency (SIA) Hala Ghazal has asserted that the SIA is working hard to unify all legislations and measures related to investment since factors of making the investment sector a success are available.

In a statement to SANA, Ghazal said that legislations and administrative measures regulating investment have contributed to promoting the investment climate in general, calling on all investment-related bodies to coordinate their efforts to boost this sector.

She pointed out that investment projects are distributed according to the markets’ elements and the availability of raw materials and investment requirements.

"Laws related to supervising insurance institutions have adopted the right track, as a number of insurance companies, private banks, universities and institutes have been established," Ghazal said, noting that the Syrian markets' thirst for such investments has remarkably contributed to making these investments a success.

Ghazal stressed that the losses caused to the Syrian economy because of the ongoing aggression against the country and of the West's unjust economic sanctions have led to more losses to investment, particularly in the tourism, industry, agriculture and services sectors.

She also underscored the direct negative impacts of the ongoing crisis, Syria has been witnessing, on the projects enlisted under the provisions of Investment Law No.8 of 2007, on the diversity of investment projects, on social and economic development and on the availability of commodities and services.

"A remarkable decrease in the number of investment projects in 2011 and 2012 is noticed due to the current extraordinary circumstances in the country," Ghazal said.

She underlined that the establishment of four giant industrial zones has contributed effectively to enhancing all kinds of industrial investment.

"Investment out of the industrial zones has become a necessity for medium-sized projects and other types of enterprises, Ghazal said, adding that the government has decided to deal with some industrial areas located in different provinces the same way as the aforementioned four big industrial zones in terms of the provided advantages and facilities. She pointed out that the feasibility studies and investment maps for setting-up 100 industrial zones have been worked out.

The government has adopted a plan to finance the establishment of more than 25 industrial areas and to share the financing of a similar number of areas with local authorities and investors. The rest of industrial areas are scheduled to be proposed for direct investment to meet the need for investment outside huge industrial zones.

Rawaa Ghanam 

Government Discusses Mechanism to Protect Oil and Gas Facilities against Terrorism

DAMASCUS, (ST) - The Cabinet yesterday convened to discuss the situation of oil and gas production and the government's procedures to protect oil facilities from the attacks of the foreign-backed armed terrorist groups.

During the session, which was chaired by Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi, Minister of Oil and Mineral Resources Suleiman Abbas stressed that terrorists' attacks on the infrastructure, equipment and pipelines of the oil and gas sectors have disrupted refineries, reduced production and caused difficulties in meeting development, industrial, services and social needs for oil and its derivates, an affair that directly and negatively affected the national economy and the public interest.

The minister said oil derivatives convoys have been the target of armed attacks, pointing out that the measures taken by the ministry to protect the oil facilities haven't achieved the hoped-for goal, an affair that necessitated reconsidering the current mechanism and adopting more effective protection measures.

The ministry proposed a protection mechanism in the light of which the cabinet agreed on signing contracts for protecting oil facilities, crud oil pipelines and oil derivatives convoys.  It also agreed on forming a ministerial committee to restudy the contracts forms in a way that guarantees the rights of the state. In parallel, the cabinet agreed on establishing a public government commission to protect oil facilities.