Government’s Efforts to Alleviate Suffering of Terrorism victims in Aleppo Discussed

DAMASCUS, (ST)- Alleviating the suffering of the people of Aleppo is an urgent need and one of the top priorities of the Syrian government’s policy, said Prime Minster Wael al-Halqi during a ministerial meeting on Sunday, dedicated to tackling the economic situation in the country and ways of providing supply services to victims of the crisis.

The Premier stressed the need to take immediate procedures to back the steadfastness of the people of Aleppo and meet their basic needs, particularly bread, supply materials, gas, and oil derivates as soon as possible to ease the suffering caused by the armed terrorist groups’ attacks.

The ministerial meeting discussed ways of eliminating obstacles hindering the electricity and oil ministries’ efforts to provide Aleppo with electricity, gas and oil derivatives through safe routes and with the participation of civil society parties.

The meeting also tackled the situation of education in Aleppo and the efforts exerted by the ministries of education and higher education to provide students with alternatives that help them continue their study.    

 Discussing the situation of the relief efforts and humanitarian assistance provided to Aleppo, the Prime Minster asked the Ministry of Social Affairs and the State Ministry for Syrian Arab Crescent Affairs to prepare food baskets, medical kits, blankets, household materials  and send them to terrorism-hit families in Aleppo.

Coordination between government and national parties' representatives to enhance steadfastness

In another development, Premier al-Halqi stressed the importance of coordination between the government and representatives of the Syrian national parties to work as a team to enhance elements of the Syrian people’s steadfastness in the face of conspiracies and to consolidate national unity and reconciliation in order to get Syria out of the current crisis.

During his meeting with Secretary General of the Syrian Communist Party (Unified) Hanin Nimir and member of the Party’s Politburo, al-Halqi affirmed the need to reactivate the role that can be played by the National Progressive Front’s parties, people’s organizations, vocational unions and civil society organizations  in protecting public and private properties, undermining terrorism, and keeping the distinguished diversity of the Syrian society which is the  main defender of Syria’s security, stability and prosperity.

During the meeting, the economic situation and the living conditions of the Syrians were discussed, besides the government’s procedures to combat administrative and financial corruption and reform the public sector.  

For his part, Nimir commended the government’s efforts to enhance the steadfastness of the national economy  . “Syria is facing a political, military, economic and social battle,” Nimir said, praising the role of the Syrian army forces in confronting terrorism and restoring security and stability to Syria.

He reiterated the necessity of enhancing national reconciliation spirit among the Syrians so as to overcome the crisis.


Priorities of Economic Reform as Viewed by Private Sector

The Syrian Business Council (SBC) has recently published an all-out report on “Priorities of Economic Reform as Seen by the Private Sector” .

The report, which is prepared by the Council in cooperation with the UN Development Program (UNDP), includes the recommendations of the dialogue session held by the Council on vital issues aiming to support the government’s hoped-for economic reform efforts.

In his introduction to the report, Haitham Subhi Joud, Chairman of the Council’s Board referred to the growing role of the private sector in socio-economic development and its contribution to the growth of national income and the achievement of balanced development.

 He stressed the necessity of providing this promising sector with suitable environment for development as it seeks a bigger role in building national economy within a supportive environment and a clear participatory view that provides the sector with the necessary infrastructure as well as the legislative, legal and administrative ground.

“Cooperation between the public, private and joint sectors played an effective role in attaining sustainable development,” Joud said, pointing out that the role of the civil society has exceeded charity works and development initiatives to the role of a full partner in building the country, and “this is the case with the SBC.”

The issuance of the report, which doesn’t include all reform-linked issues, coincided with the government’s announcement of new legislations and facilitations that serve suggestions provided in the report, which will hopefully be a reference to help the government specify priorities for the private sector to go ahead with economic reform and enhance partnership with this sector in decision making.

The report doesn’t specify problems or call for specific reforms. It proposes a view on possible solutions and presents the private sector as a full partner of the government as regards duties and rights.

The report outlined some challenges facing economic activities, mainly corruption, bureaucracy, inactive legislative, structural and legal environment, the non-dealing with the public sector as a real partner in development, poor infrastructure and undeveloped customs and taxes system.

These challenges, according to the report, necessitate the activation of continuous objective dialogue between legislators and decision-makers on the one hand and all parties concerend in the business sector.

  The priorities of the hoped-for reform from the point of view of the real actors in the business sector are underlined by the report as including, human resources, judiciary, partnership with the government, investment and the sectors of finance, tourism, services, health, IT, construction, information, advertisement, industry, agriculture, energy and trade. 

The report suggested the enhancement of an education system based on continuous training and encouragement of invention and excelling. It also suggested developing the infrastructure system and empowering the private sector to invest in this field. In addition, administrative and institutional reform, capacity building, transparency, providing equal opportunities, reactivating competitiveness, banning manipulation and protecting trade and intellectual property were also among the report’s main suggestions.  

Applying the added value taxes, cancelling some ministries and merging some others are also seen by the report as important. In addition, empowering the civil society and merging business organizations within a legislative organizational framework and under an institutional umbrella.

 The report, which didn’t deal with the current circumstances in the county, concluded its review of priorities of economic reform by stressing that the proposals which enjoy unanimity and acceptance by the government and the parties concerned in economy and business, must be implemented according to timetables and suitable performance standards.

The SBC is a nongovernmental organization with diverse membership and specializations. It was established with the objective of supporting sustainable development in Syria through entrepreneurship projects, exchange of ideas as well as cultural and social interaction.

H. Moustafa

PM: Syria's economy is immune

DAMASCUS,(ST)_Drawing up policies and strategies requires integration and cooperation between executive and legislative authorities , Prime Minister said on Wednesday.

Dr.Wael al-Halqi asserted that this integration is also significant to issue necessary laws related to meet citizens' basic needs and improve all services and development sectors to achieve sustainable and comprehensive development among all Syrian provinces.

The remark was made during a meeting with MPs representing Damascus countryside province.

According to SANA ,the meeting dealt with services and development projects in the province and demands to compensate the affected people as well as agricultural production requirements.

Dr. al-Halqi asserted that Syria's economy is able to confront challenges and unjust sanctions imposed on it, pointing out the government's great efforts  being exerted to provide food stuff and oil derivatives to citizens and improve performance of all sectors, particularly the agricultural production.

He praised the MPs positive role in unmasking conspiracy that aims to destabilize Syria and destroy its economy and infrastructure with the support of Arab, regional and western countries.

The PM hailed the armed forces' achievements against the foreign-backed terrorist groups, stressing that Syria will come out victorious and security will be restored to it.

For their parts, the MPs expressed keenness to achieve security and stability, reiterating their rejection to all forms of extremism and violence.

They stressed adherence to their national principles, hailing the sacrifices of the Syrian army to defeat the conspiracy.

PM meets Iran's Ambassador

On the other hand, the premier held talks with Iran's ambassador in Damascus, Mohammad Reza Shibani.

SANA reported that talks focused on means of enhancing economic, trade and industrial ties between the two countries to include various fields, particularly oil, electricity, health and agriculture.

The talks also dealt with the strategic relations between the two friendly countries and the current political developments.

The Premier noted that Syria's enemies are betting on the collapse of the national economy after the military failure of the armed terrorist groups.

The Iranian Ambassador, stressed his country's support to Syria, saying: "the two countries are able to face the challenges and defeat the enemy.

He cited the National Dialogue Forum recently held in Tehran, describing it as 'successful' as all sides called for preserving the national unity and reconciliation and rejected foreign interference in Syria's internal affairs.

B. Qaddour

Boosting Trade, Economic Ties to Encounter Sanctions, says Iranian Vice President

TEHRAN, (ST)-Iranian Vice President for the International Affairs Ali Saeedlou affirmed the importance and strategic relations between Syria and Iran, and the need for boosting them in the trade and economic fields to face challenges and unfair economic sanctions imposed on the Syrian people.
Lou's remarks came after meeting Subhi al-Abdullah ,the Syrian Minister of Agriculture on Tuesday.

"We are confident the Syrian government and people would overcome this fierce attack.. all cooperation agreements between both countries are under implementation and we will observe positive outcomes soon," the Iranian senior official said.
He condemned acts of terrorism and crimes perpetrated by the armed terrorist groups under the pretexts of democracy and freedom, saying " freedom and democracy won't come through violence and sabotage."
for his part, Minister al-Abdullah said that the agrarian sector was targeted by the armed groups in order to affect the livelihood of the Syrian people.
In a similar meeting with the Syrian delegation, Saeed Jalili, Secretary of the Iranian Higher Council for the National Security renewed his country's support with all its capabilities to Syria, as leadership and people, in the face of the US-backed Zionist plots aiming at striking resistance and looting the region's resources.

Earlier, Minister of Agriculture held session of talks with his Iranian counterpart, Sadeq Khalilian, dealing with the need for boosting cooperation in the fields of fertilizers, olive oil, citrus and others.
Minister al-Abdullah said that there is a surplus in the production of citrus, olives and olive oils and they could be exported to the Iranian market.


licensed banks have more free access in dealing with hard currency




 DAMASCUS, (ST)- According to the package of measures issued by the Central Bank of Syria to control prices, the central bank  issued  the resolution No. 1555, which allows licensed banks more free access in dealing  with hard currency.

 The Resolution provides the selling of hard currency to importers in accordance with the announced exchange rate by the bank. The sold hard currency shouldn't exceed the exchange rates issued by the central Bank for purposes of intervention in order to enable them to prepay the value of the needed imported goods.

 The bank's decision implies that importers must offer their request to the bank accompanied by import license.

 The resolution stipulates that importers should bring the original imported copies and customer's bills which prove that the goods are to be used for domestic consumption.

 The decision was issued to facilitate the work of traders and industrialists importers especially under the current circumstances, Dr. Adeeb Mayala Governor of the Central Bank of Syria underscored.


H. Shamout