Promising cereal production in 2013

(ST) - Strong growth is expected for global wheat, coarse grains and rice production in 2013, according to early forecasts published by FAO's monthly Cereals Supply and Demand Brief.

Assuming more normal weather conditions than in 2012, global wheat production in 2013 is expected to reach 695 million tones, 5.4 percent up from last year's harvest and just some 6 million tones short of the 2011 record level.

 Moreover, in 2013, coarse grains production is expected to set a new record at 1266 million tones - 9.3 percent up on the previous high of 1167 million tones registered in 2011.

 Of this total, maize is forecast to account for about 960 million tones, some 10 percent up from 2012. The bulk of the increase is expected in the United States, the world's largest producer, where maize plantings are forecast to reach their highest level since 1936. Recovery from drought in the major CIS producing countries should also contribute significantly to the record global production.

 Still tentatively, FAO foresees rice production in the forthcoming 2013 season to rise to 497.7 million tones, 16 million tones more than in 2012, with particularly large increases expected in India and Indonesia.


Despite the expected production increases, world cereal utilization is expected to stagnate in 2012/2013, constrained by rising grain prices and faltering ethanol demand. Global cereal utilization is now forecast to be 2332 million tones, roughly unchanged from the 2011/2012 level.

World cereal stocks by the close of seasons ending in 2013 are forecast at 505 million tons, up 1 percent (5 million tons) from the previous forecast, but some 3 percent (16 million tons) below their opening levels.

A sharp fall in world cereal trade is expected in 2012/2013, involving all major cereals. At 304.4 million tones, it would be almost 1 million tones larger than forecast last month, but still representing a decline of about 4 percent (13 million tons) from 2011/2012.

Sh. Kh.

National economy strong, balanced, Says al-Halqi

Damascus, (ST) – Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi dubbed the  national economy as  strong and balanced and could adapt  to the complications and developments of the crisis in Syria through a series of decisions and steps taken by the government in order to cope with the ongoing developments.

Addressing the People's Assembly on Wednesday, al-Halqi said that the Syrian Pound is currently under unprecedented attack launched by some Arab-linked media .

"By doing so, They (some Arab countries) are aiming at diverting  the  citizens and businessmen's destination away from the Syrian pound, "underscored al-Halqi.

"However, the government has taken several steps to boost citizens' confidence in commerce and the Syrian Pound and to unveil the nature of this media and economic war which is accompanied by spreading rumors, "added al-Halqi.

The Prime Minister made it  clear that the said  measures  strongly contributed in boosting the  citizens' confidence in the national economy and consequently foiled all attempts to undermine trust in the government's economic steps .

"the homeland and citizen's security is the government's top priority .Hence, Syria is firmly going forward as regards fighting terrorism backed by Arab, regional and international powers, "asserted al-Halqi.

He also hailed  the role of the Army and Armed Forces and security forces in combating terrorism and restoring security nationwide.

"the army and armed forces and the security forces  are the sole guarantee of the country's unity and safety, "concluded al-Halqi.


Syrian –Iraqi Banking Cooperation

(ST) - In support of the promotion of economic and trade relations with Iraq, the Governor of the Central Bank of Syria (CBS), Adib Mayaleh, addressed a letter to the government in which he explained the confirmation of the Islamic Cooperation Bank of Iraqi Investment request of the need to open a branch in the city of Damascus. 

 Because of the features expected to be achieved through the establishment of this section and of trade facilities and dealing with the issue of export of Syrian oil and providing necessary oil derivatives and thus the Governor of the Central Bank of Syria suggested setting up a branch of the bank in the form of a Syrian joint stock company under a special legislative decree.

Accordingly, the completion of the process of making the bank guarantees finding Syrian – Iraqi banking cooperation because it will become one of the private banks operating within the banking sector in Syria, so there is nothing to prevent the Islamic Cooperation Bank of Investment from work to find channels of cooperation with banks operating in Syria through correspondents in abroad and opening accounts in these banks, according to banking norms in force in this field. 

Sh. al -Khatib.

Syria 's Economic, finance Cooperation with India, Russia Highlighted

MOSCOW, (ST)  _Finance Minister Dr Ismail Ismail  discussed with his Russian counterpart Anton Saloanov financial cooperation relations between the two countries and the need to accomplish what was agreed upon regarding the Russian aid to the Syrian economy, particularly deposits and bank loans.

During a  meeting on the sidelines of the first day of the activities of the St. Petersburg Global Economic Forum, minister Ismail stressed the  need to strengthen bilateral financial and economic cooperation up  to the level of the distinguished political relations between the two countries.

During his meeting with  the Indian Commerce Minister Anand Sharma minister Ismail expressed thanks to the positions of India 's  government and people  and G-Brix  concerning events taking place in Syria, stressing the importance of supporting Syria by her friends to enhance the Syrian economy.


The minister pointed out that the Indian government can support the Syrian economy through providing  banking facilities and open accounts to facilitate trade between the two countries.

For his part, Minister Sharma said he would discuss the proposals with his country 's  government and the central bank.

Syria's Ambassador in Moscow Riad Haddad warned that certain sides in the West  are betting on the fall of Syria because of the economy and this is what should not be allowed by her friends.

In a statement to  reporters, minister Ismail described St. Petersburg World Economic forum  as "deep ,extensive and an opportunity for new ideas and concerns, which revolve in the minds of the international economic community on current economic  issues, during which  Russia 's growing role was highlighted , noting that discussions showed the importance of the application of the Basel banking standards and the role of capital markets in planning  investments.

Works of the 17th world economic forum  were held  in St. Petersburg Russian  in the presence of more than five thousand political figures, businessmen and experts, including 190 heads of major foreign companies and 428 heads of Russian companies.

In his speech at the forum, Russian President Vladimir Putin called for not to underestimating  the issue of supplying arms to Syria, stressing that "Russia exported arms to the legitimate government in Syria and in accordance with the agreements transparent In the framework of international laws and commitments.


T. Fateh

President Al-Assad Decrees on Increasing Salaries, Pensions

DAMASCUS, (ST) – President Bashar Al-Assad on Saturday issued decree No. 38 for 2013 on increasing monthly salaries of state civil and military employees.

According to the decree, a 40% increase is to be added to the first (SYP) 10.000 of the salary. 20% will be added to the second (SYP) 10.000 of the salary while 10% is to be added to the third (SYP) 10.000.

The decree also provides for adding a 5% increase to the amount which exceeded the third (SYP) 10.000 of the salary.

His Excellency, the president also issued legislative decree No. 39 for 2013 providing for increasing the pensions of the state's retired civil and military employees.

A 25% increase will be added to the first (SYP) 10.000 of the pension. 20% to the second (SYP) 10.000 and 10% to the sum which exceeds the second (SYP) 10.000 of the pension.

H. Mustafa