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ILO: COVID-19 causes devastating losses in working hours and employment

 The COVID-19 pandemic is having a catastrophic effect on working hours and earnings, globally. A new ILO report highlights some of the worst affected sectors and regions, and outlines policies to mitigate the crisis.

GENEVA – The COVID-19 crisis  is expected to wipe out 6.7 per cent of working hours globally in the second quarter of 2020 – equivalent to 195 million full-time workers.

Large reductions are foreseen in the Arab States (8.1 per cent, equivalent to 5 million full-time workers), Europe (7.8 per cent, or 12 million full-time workers) and Asia and the Pacific (7.2 per cent, 125 million full-time workers).

Huge losses are expected across different income groups but especially in upper-middle income countries (7.0 per cent, 100 million full-time workers). This far exceeds the effects of the 2008-9 financial crisis.

The sectors most at risk include accommodation and food services, manufacturing, retail, and business and administrative activities.

General Commission of Taxes and Fees to facilitate measures of import ensuring staple diet products in local market

The General Commission of Taxes and Fees will offer facilities to importers with the aim of ensuring staple diet products in local market. 
According to the Syrian News Agency ( SANA), the commission  has urged financial departments in all governorates to offer all possible facilities to importers under the supervision of the Commission's Central Administration. 

Up to 75 million jobs around the world are expected to be lost, says the World Travel and Tourism Council

The negative impacts of coronavirus pandemic outbreak in the world has affected the world tourism sector threatening the loss of 75 million jobs globally and a $2.1 trillion loss in the Gross Global Product this year.

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), the number of the jobs which are at risk may witness a 50% rise from the previous statistics.

The council also said that Asia-Pacific is expected to be heavily affected with the loss of up to 49 million jobs while the European tourism and travel sector is expected to witness the loss of 10 million jobs, causing nearly $552 billion loss in the GDP of Europe.

Syria, Cuba discuss enhancing trade cooperation

HAVANA, (ST)-  Enhancing trade relations between Syria and Cuba was the  main theme of the meeting held on Thursday in Havana between Syria’s Ambassador to Cuba Idris Mayya and President of the Cuban Chamber of Commerce Antonio Carricarte.

Carricarte affirmed the need to boost economic cooperation and trade exchange between Cuba and Syria so that they match the distinguished political relations and strong historical friendship between the two countries.

On his part, the Syrian ambassador affirmed that both Syria and Cuba are determined to strengthen economic relations, particularly as the two countries are facing coercive economic measures imposed by the US on their peoples.

Cultivation of about 167 thousand hectares of food legumes, the first is Lentils

DAMASCUS, (ST) - The Director of Plant Production in the Ministry of Agriculture, Eng. Abdul Moeen Qadamani, said that the total planned area of food legume crops “lentils, chickpeas, beans and peas” for the 2019-2020 season amounted to more than 290 thousand hectares, while the cultivated area reached about 167 thousand hectares, more than 111 One thousand hectares of lentils, and more than 33 thousand hectares of chickpeas. There are 16 thousand hectares of beans, in addition to about 6 thousand hectares of peas.