Joint Initiative to alleviate economic crisis

 DAMASCUS, (ST)_ Under the slogan of " alleviating the impact  of the crisis on society and economy", the Ministry of Economy and Foreign Trade, in cooperation with "Al-Jodda" group for Studies discussed an initiative to overcome consequences  of the sanctions against Syria.

The initiative points out that the Syrian economy is of multiple resources, and its main components are  agriculture, industry , trade, services  and  crude oil.

"Syria has new drives and orientations to withstand global conspiracy, achieve food security and boost its  national economy", the initiative read.

It stressed the importance of cooperation among national, foreign , official and private organizations to achieve the set objectives.

For his part , the Deputy Economy and Foreign Trade Minister Dr. Hayyan Salman said Syria has been encountering all forms of sanctions which aim at undermining its economic and trade stability, asserting that the initiative would help  support the Syrian current economic and trade orientations, help entrepreneurs, and theprojects , damaged by severe acts of terrorists groups.

Chairman of Al-joda group  noted that the  key role played by the ministry is to support productive and economic projects, to create new job opportunities in cooperation with the public, private and joint sectors.

Rawaa Ghanam

Syria to resume crude oil export soon

Syria is due to export one million barrel of crude oil to Russia each month in exchange for cash or barter.

The Syrian Prime Minister, Dr.Wael al-Halqi, was quoted as saying during his meeting with Chairman and members of the Journalist Union's Executive Bureau on Monday that within 25 days we are going to resume crude oil exports.

 Dr. al-Halqi stressed the government's commitment to secure citizens' requirements despite sanctions imposed on oils and banks sectors.

Under the decree No.126 recently issued by President Bashar Al-Assad, the government has simplified measures to ensure all main categories to be up for grabs in the local market.

The result of these measures is tangible as citizens are still able to buy everything they need from any supermarket. But the problem is that the prices have tripled at the end of 2011 as the exchange rate jumped a lot (from 47SYP to 1$ - 65-73SYP to 1$) because of the crisis.   

In August, Deputy Premier for Economic Affairs led a delegation of cabinet's ministers to Russia where talks on ways of alleviating the economic impact of unfair sanctions on Syria were held.

Following the talks, Dr.Qadri Jamil told reporters: "We need oil, oil products. Shortages of these materials are making the situation in the country difficult."

He added that Syria would deliver oil and receive gasoline and fuel oil, noting that Syria is producing about 200,000 barrels per day.

Due to ban on Syria's oil export, the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), officially, indicates a decrease in oil export reached about 44.4 per cent as it dramatically collapsed from 13.5 thousands ton in the first quarter of 2011 to 7.5 thousands ton in the first quarter of 2012.

Basma Qaddour

Importance of Fairs’ Industry

DAMASCUS, (ST)_ Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade Dr. Mohamad Zafer Mahbek has recently opened at DamascusCastle the Documentation Pavilion of the Damascus International Fair. The event was held by the General Establishment of International Fairs and Markets.

“This sort of fairs reflects the people’s taste in this country and the importance of Syrian industries displayed in previous fairs. The goal of this specific fairs is to acquaint others with the remarkable economic, social, tourist and cultural sides in Syria”, the minister said. 

Those fairs, Dr. Mahbek pointed out, have great significance in the domain of marketing national products. The Documentation Pavilion of the Damascus International Fair links the originality of the past and the deep- rootedness of the Syrian industries reflected by the fairs’ activities, he added.

“The idea of the Documentation Fair is inspired by the Syrian civilized memory , particularly the ancient city of Damascus, its streets and markets”, Dr. Mahbek said.

The goal of this documentation Fair is to shed light on the role of the Damascus International Fair in supporting the national economy.

Sh. Kh.

Water Cooperation with UNICEF

DAMASCUS, (ST)_ Minister of Water Resources Eng. Bassam Hanna has assured the significance of coordination and cooperation between the UN organizations and UNICEF, particularly in the recent situation.

During his meeting with the Resident Representative of the UNICEF in Syria Yousef Wild Abduljalil, Eng. Hanna pointed out that the unfair sanctions imposed on Syria still have negative effect on the lives of the Syrian people. The Ministry, he noted, is concerned in offering services especially pure drinking water to citizens all over the Syrian governorates.

For his part, Abduljalil highlighted the important role being played by the Ministry of Water and called for a strong relation between the UNICEF and the Ministry to offer necessary aid to the children of Syria. He also reviewed the activities and the services offered by the UNICEF to Syrian children to return to their schools.

 The two sides agreed that the Ministry of Water Resources will present a detailed report regarding the Ministry’s needs and its urgent priorities to be ensured on time. 


Sh. Kh.

$45 bln to reconstruct devastated real estates in Syria

The actual cost of reconstruction in Syria couldn't be defined in the absence of official estimates of real estates damaged during the crisis. However, initial reports point out that Syria would need at least about $45 billion to rebuild devastated real estates, mainly destroyed by the foreign-backed terrorist groups, all over the county.

A well-informed Real Estate Affairs academic source, Ammar Yousef, told the "Syria steps" website that some 300.000 houses have been reported completely destroyed and 250.000 ones have been partly damaged, while the infrastructures of 400.000 houses (water, electricity, and telephone networks) are in need for repair."

Mr. Yousef underlined the necessity of reorganizing areas according to new real estate bases which have nothing to do with that in the past.

"Six months are enough to rebuild random housing. We could depend on either Chinese, Russian, or Iranian companies that have good experience in building cities." Yousef said.

  Basma Qaddour