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.               


Only Tax Payers Feel It

The Syrian leadership has recently issued some decrees exempting tax payers from all the fines and fees they had to pay in 2011 and 2012 for delaying tax payment, if they pay their due taxes before June 30, 2013.

It is one of the many other important steps taken by the Syrian leadership to ease the pressure caused to economic activities, because of the ongoing crisis in the country.

Only economic activities and self-employed people, who couldn't pay their due financial obligations to the state because of the critical circumstances in Syria, will realize and evaluate the importance of this step.

Delaying payments or the act of not paying taxes has accumulated more fees and fines and caused remarkable retreat in tax revenues without any arrangements or caution measures.

This situation affirms the need to tackle the problem so as to guarantee the right of the state and, at the same time, help owners of economic and services activities pay their due financial obligations without hesitation or extra costs under the uncomfortable and extraordinary circumstances the entire homeland is experiencing.

The timing of issuing these decrees is very suitable, as they restore the right of the state treasury and encourage owners of economic and craft activities to pay the state the due taxes and customs on time. This will in turn be reflected positively on their lives through the services rendered by the state to them and to other citizens and will also contribute to reconstructing the infrastructure necessary for public and private utilities. Thus, what tax payers give reflects positively on their conditions and it is for their good.


Ahmad Orabi Baaj


Translated by H. Mustafa