Efforts to Boost Iran-Iraq Economic Ties

"Grounds are prepared for strengthening and promoting bilateral economic and political ties between Iran and Iraq" Iran's vice-President for International Affairs Ali Saeedlou said Tuesday, according to IRNA.

 Saeedlou made the remarks in a meeting with Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Rosh Nori Shawis in the city of Erbil, capital of Iraq’s Regional Government of Kurdistan in north of that country.

  The Iranian official voiced Tehran’s readiness to participate in Iraq’s reconstruction projects; stressing that Tehran-Baghdad cooperation would play an influential role in the region.

 The Iraqi official hailed Iran’s support for Iraq, calling for further economic and trade cooperation between the two neighboring countries.

 The two sides discussed issues of mutual interests.

 R. Sawas


Syrian Investment Institution DG: Syria is still enjoying the benefits of attractive investment




DAMASCUS, (ST)  - Director General of the Syrian Investment Agency, Abdul-Karim Khalil stressed that despite the critical current circumstances, Syria is still enjoying the benefits of attractive investment, thanks to its strategic position as well as its geographical and environmental diversity that ensures the availability  of  many natural resources besides the experts and  qualified human cadres which resulted in achieving attractive returns to the investments that would be carried out according to the global standard of economic feasibility.

In a statement t SANA Economic bulletin, Khalil pointed out that capital has no specific nationality. It has the right to seize the opportunities and takes the nationality of the country in which it grows and to scores high revenue, referring that the number of the customs exemption decisions granted by the one-stop window at the customs office of the Institution reached 233 during the period from 1\1\2012 up to 30\9\2012.

"The value of the machines, equipment, supplies and transport services intended for import and winning exemption, scored SP16,650bln.This urges investors to start their investments by providing these projects with all the needed machines and equipment. So, the Syrian economic body did not hang in full but it suffers a provisional disability that will be gone very soon," Khalil underscored.

The director went on to say that investments in crisis times create unexpected investments opportunities. So under the economic sanctions there must be  alternatives to import through reactivating the various production sectors to ensure these alternatives, stressing that the Institution is committed to follow up work with governorates,   and the concerned ministries to found a well-studied investment map that  would identify the development priorities  and the investment opportunities set out according to the economic feasibility standard.

"According to the decree No.8 issued in 2007, the Institution had included 39 projects, and 23 of them are in the Agency.The total value of the estimated machines, equipment and transport services reached SP 14,7bln, while the total investment value achieved SP16,1bln''.

Amal  Farhat




Premier: A sum of 175 Million Syrian Pounds for Boosting Citizens Service Centers




DAMASCUS, (ST)_ "The biggest challenge for the establishment and operation of citizens service  centers is to develop  clear and unified standards, so as  to be able to perform government services in addition to expanding  activities of these centers  and rehabilitate, train and motivate its employees", said  the prime minister Dr. Wael al-Halqi on Monday during a workshop, organized by the Ministry of local Administration  on following up activities pertinent to citizens service centers  in the country 's governorates.

 The Prime Minister stressed the importance of assessing the performance of these centers and the need to add more services, in coordination with ministries and sides concerned, with the aim to simplify procedures and alleviate burdens shouldered by citizens.

 " A sum of 175 million  Syrian pounds was allotted to inaugurate and develop several citizens service  centers one-stop procedure in several cities and to benefit by  this experience in more than 30 Administrative units, to be  determined  annually, depending  on the preparedness  and human resources  in the main cities," the Prime Minister said.


T. Fateh




Syria needs SP 2000bln for reconstruction, says Finance Minister


DAMASCUS, (S.T) _The total amount estimated so far for reconstruction in Syria reached up to SP 2000 bln, Finance Minister said on Thursday.

Speaking before the People's Assembly, Mohammad Jleilati cited that the amount SP 30 billion included in the 2013 budget under the reconstruction term will only cover the cost of primary rehabilitation works.

After dwelling upon the bill on the 2013 state budget, the PA referred it to the budget committee to be scrutinized.

According to the minister, the bill was drawn up according to real data bases taking into consideration the crisis Syria is going through.

"A levy imposed by the government in Syria is very low in comparison with other countries," said the minister, noting that some people evade payment of taxes and asks for exempting them from fines under the pretext of supporting production and industry.

He also pointed out a number of wrong decisions negatively affected on national economy and local industry. 

The minister added that the rehabilitation of infrastructure in Syria requires an investment budget whose appropriations will be secured through foreign loans.

The MPs asserted that the exceptional circumstances in Syria impose exceptional economic, financial and social policies to face the crisis and to enhance the national steadfastness.

They focused on the necessity of distributing subsides to those in need under the current situation in the country caused by the unjust sanctions which negatively affect the citizens' living conditions.

The meeting included several important proposals by the MPs. One of them is increasing the appropriations allocated for the stricken areas and restoring services to them as soon as possible.

Basma Qaddour


Syrian government strongly supports electricity sector, says Electricity Minister

DAMASCUS, (S.T)_ Electricity system in Syria is still one of the best in the region despite the armed terrorists' sabotage acts targeting it, Electricity Minister said in an interview with the Syrian TV on Monday. 

"Had it not been at that level, it wouldn't have withstood all these difficult circumstances and the economic sanctions imposed by the countries involved in the crisis in Syria," said Imad Khamis.

He noted that the ministry has adopted intensive measures to rehabilitate the infrastructure damaged by the armed terrorist groups, asserting that the electric power projects are running well and will be completed on time.

"The terrorist groups' attacks on tankers carrying fuel to the electricity generating plants and on the railways and oil and gas transfer pipelines have imposed a huge further financial burden on the state estimated at SP 800 mln," asserted the minister.

"Electricity is heavily subsidized by the Syrian government to do its utmost to meet the citizens' needs", Khamis said, pointing out that the ministry has taken extraordinary steps to secure electric power around the clock during winter.