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Director of Export Promotion: Supplying Support for Exporters

DAMASCUS, (ST) - Director General of Development and Export Promotion  Agency, Ihab Ismandar, underlined that his Agency continues to provide direct and indirect support to Syrian exports and that there has been no radical change in the business strategy, concerning the Agency, issued two years ago, despite of  some modifications to this strategy in response to the conditions experienced by the country and the economic sanctions imposed on it.

 Mr. Ismandar  said the work had focused on the present circumstances to intensify the establishment of foreign exhibitions and to participate in international exhibitions to promote the Syrian products in addition to organizing meetings of Syrian businessmen with their counterparts on the sidelines of each exhibition to provide wider opportunities for business cooperation.

"The Agency has conducted over the past year several studies involving many products and markets in order to enhance the growth opportunities of Syrian exports to the establishment of some training courses in order to develop work export and help exporters to develop their abilities to penetrate new markets and strengthen their presence in traditional markets," he pointed out

"The Agency has focused on increasing and strengthening cooperation with the relevant authorities in order to coordinate on export development and exhibitions,  especially the Ministry of Economy and Trade, Federations of Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Agricultural, exporters and joint  business councils, noting the efforts exerted by these parties in the development of export opportunities for Syrian products," Mr. Ismandar said.

"The Agency is planning to support the Syrian participation in 58 exhibitions of various Syrian products although it does not provide support for each Syrian exhibitions abroad but requests  of exhibitions' organizers are studied to provide support according to the possibilities," he explained.

"The Agency has done the bulk of the system of export in Syria through the creation of the Agency and the Exporters Association ,the creation of the Development Fund for Exports and the office of the rapid intervention to organize the process of export development and promotion of products, opening  new markets and supplying support and solving problems of exports in addition to providing financial support through the Fund's administrative body, financially independent," the director added.

"A legal final vision regarding Exports Credit Guarantee Agency and a Bank for Financing Exports and Imports was mapped out.  The private sector will take part in the financing of this project , explaining that the work is postponed at the moment due to the circumstances that the country is going through," he clarified.

"There is a plan to create several centers affiliated to the Agency in a number of areas in order to deliver services to exporters revealing that the idea of making the Syrian House in a number of world capitals is ready and waiting for the right conditions to work out where the Syrian House includes home sections for tourist and cultural promotion as well as economic and trade promotion," Mr. Ismandar noted.

 The Director confirmed that the total support given by the Agency since its creation until now reached about 600 million Syrian Pounds,  stressing that the Agency provides indirect support to exporters through the establishment of training courses and studies of markets and marketing opportunities for some of the products as well as to ensure the large part of the costs of  holding exhibitions abroad or participation in international exhibitions. The Syrian exporters have to seize this opportunity and offer Syrian products adequately of the various aspects of quality, price and specifications for this product to be able to strengthen its presence in foreign markets.

Sh. Kh.

FSCI to Establish ''National Social Development Fund''

In an attempt to support the government's efforts to alleviate the repercussion of the current crisis in Syria, the Federation of Syrian Chambers of Industry (FSCI) has recently submitted a draft law to the Prime-Ministry providing for the establishment of the ''National Fund for Social Development''.

Chairman of (FSCI ) Fares Al-Shehabi said in a statement to the press that ''in the light of the extraordinary circumstances, Syria has been facing, it is the human and national duty of all industrialists and trades to bolster their cooperation and enhance their fundamental role in helping the national economy work out a strategy to withstand current challenges and reconstruct Syria''.

Al-Shehabi added the (FSCI) spares no effort to support industrialists in implementing new projects in all domains to contribute to rebuilding Syria.

He urged industrialists to contribute to reconstructing schools as well as service and health centers and to benefit from direct investments in vital utilities so as to achieve sustainable social development.

Regarding the fund's budget, Al-Shehabi clarified the Government's contribution is 50% and the other 50% is due to be covered by the private sector. International commissions may also contribute to the budget.

The draft law aims at encouraging industrialists working in different sectors to participate in the national fund so as to back the government's efforts to   rehabilitate the infrastructure, create job opportunities and qualify national cadres.

It called for bringing terrorism-affected families back to their houses, reconstructing damaged establishments, ensuring health services and encouraging stopped industrial facilities to launch alternative activities which can be of great economic feasibility.

The fund's investment fields are due to cover schools, education institutions, hospitals, health centers and housing areas, in addition to afforestation activities, sewage, communication and transportation means.

The draft law stressed the pivotal role of the fund in fixing tourism facilities, drawing up plans to preserve the Syrian cultural heritage, qualifying national experts to implement various activities in different domains to alleviate the deteriorated situation in Syria due the foreign-backed armed terrorists groups' hostile acts.

Other headquarters for the fund are due to be opened in main provinces to tackle the indirect results of the ongoing crisis in Syria  including increasing poverty, unemployment, the stopping of schools, high prices and the lack of goods in markets.

Rawaa Ghanam

Calls for Boycotting Turkish Products

The Federation of Syrian Chambers of Industry is keenly working to unveil the Turkish Government's involvement in the acts of theft and looting against the country's industrial facilities.

In a recent letter addressing the prime-ministry, Chairman of the Federation Fares Al-Shahabi called upon Syrian government bodies, establishments and industrialists to boycott Turkish products and take legal procedures against those who deal with Turkish goods.

 The letter said the Turkish products enter Syrian markets illegally without paying any custom fees or any health or quality control.

It indicated that warmongers and foreign-backed armed terrorist groups get Turkish products in exchange for looting and facilitating the smuggling of stolen Syrian products and machines into Turkey. In addition, the Turkish government provides shelter and arms to the terrorists and opens its borders for them to infiltrate into Syria.

''The Federation has got evidence confirming that the Turkish government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been involved in piracy and looting acts in Syria. It described these acts as a crime against our economy, people and homeland'', the letter said.

It considered that boycotting the Turkish products and blacklisting them as a national, human and religious duty, calling for the establishment of a special office for boycotting Turkish products and preventing Turkish companies from carrying out investment projects in the process of rebuilding Syria.

For his part, The Governor of Aleppo Mohammad Wahid Aqqad stressed in a press statement that the acts of looting against Syrian industries are being committed under Turkey's knowledge, a fact that has become known to everybody.

He underscored that the Syrian industrial facilities are heavily targeted in all Syrian industrial zones by looting gangs, most evidently in the province of Aleppo.

Aqqad called upon Syrian industrialists to support keen efforts aiming at boycotting Turkish products, halting the theft and looting acts against Syria's industry and bring the perpetrators to justice.

The Governor clarified that the Turkish products have been trying to enter Syrian markets illegally after Erdogan's government's disappointment regarding the using of Syrian lands to convey its goods to other countries as Lebanon, Jordan and the Gulf states.

Rawaa Ghanam

Mayaleh: Reserves of Hard Currency Sufficient to Support Lira Exchange Rate

DAMASCUS, (ST) - The Governor of the Central Bank of Syria (CBS), Dr. Adib Mayaleh, confirmed that the mass of foreign currency reserves in the bank is sufficient to support the balance of the lira exchange rate in the market.

During a meeting with chairman of the Damascus Chamber of Commerce(DCC), Ghassan al- Qalla' and the Board of Directors of DCC,  Dr. Mayalleh called for working  to the benefit of public interest in terms of import costs, stressing that the bank handles all importers who seek funding equally.

They discussed the financing of imports from the public and private banks to meet the needs of the local market of materials and commodities such as oils, fat, sugar, rice, along with the necessary raw materials for the pharmaceutical industry, especially milk for children and the needs of factories.

The meeting tackled necessary ways and to maintain the size of the reserve and balanced exchange rate, cooperation among all parties to retain the Syrian currency strong, maintain reasonable price and continuity for the development of commercial and banking work.

Sh. Kh.

New Tender of 100 Thousand Tons of Wheat

DAMASCUS, (ST)-The Director-General of Trade and Grain Processing Establishment , Mousa  Nawaf Ali, said in a statement to «Al- Watan Newspaper»:" the Establishment announced for a new  international tender to supply an amount of 100 thousand tons of soft wheat for flour. The tender will be on March 4 after its purchase of a quantity(100 thousand tons) of wheat on last January 29 under a tender also.

"The tender is universal , so it is non-specific origin and any state may make it because the contract is of the global market according to the specified conditions and those who met by offering the lowest price. The last tender was for the Ukraine and the price per ton where 298.70 euros including shipping and insurance fees and delivery in Syria which is equivalent to almost 30 million euros," Mr. Ali said.

"The deal is to ensure the required quantities of wheat and the country's commercial need and the strategic stock is associated with the show that what Syria possesses of this article is sufficient," he stressed .

The director also pointed out that the total amount of imported wheat, by the Establishment during the past year amounted to about 750 thousand tons,  has been  achieved through several deals varied in prices and the maximum price agreed upon at the time was 307 euros per ton, by contrast, the  second tender for 2013 is also being organized next month within the context of the plan 2012, which included the approval to import about 1.5 million tons of this material, and thus the total import so far is 850 thousand tons.

"The current season, which is usually confined in June and July, that will determine the plan of import for 2013, which will start preparing with the beginning of next August where bodies concerned agree to import any required quantity, despite the presence of a lot of optimism that there is no need to import from abroad in the light of expectations this season that promises a good season this year, especially in the eastern region," Mr. Ali clarified.

He pointed out that the Establishment faces some difficulties in the light of the sanctions imposed on the country despite the availability of foreign exchange. Among these difficulties are issues of obstruction in opening credit , and opening the bank credit gives to the supplier a timeout between two and three months to implement the contract and supply wheat.

"The Establishment  sometimes resorts to  international supervising companies  to ensure the conformity of the samples with the specifications agreed upon, including health conditions associated with issues of agricultural quarantine and other, where every shipment is checked to be sure of the safety of all shipments of execution of the contract, which typically range from 25-30 thousand tons of wheat," Ali added.

Sh. Kh.