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Damascus restores its intimate atmosphere


DAMASCUS, (ST)- Challenging the ongoing crisis which has been hitting the country for more than 19 months, the Damascenes insist to run a normal life with an overwhelming confidence that their homeland will emerge victorious from the battle against terrorism.





The nowadays streets and markets of Damascus are crowded with a large number of shoppers who want to buy their winter needs. Children are also seen playing safely in the city's old allays with the pigeons flying and landing freely in their beloved city. Such a scene makes one feel optimistic as the intimate Damascene atmosphere is gradually being restored to the city.

H. Moustafa

Active Navigation Movement Despite Economic Sanctions

TARTOUS, (ST)-  Tarots Port is witnessing an active navigation movement despite economic sanctions imposed on the country. It daily receives a number of ships which unload their cargo of various types of goods, Ali Hasan General Director of Tartous Port Company said.

 "The number of ships operating till Sunday evening reached 8, while the number of the waiting ships reached 7," added the General Manager of the Company in a statement to SANA.

 He also underscored that the work is done according to a shift system around the clock.

Hasan said "despite the economic sanctions imposed on Syria, the port works quickly and with high capacity to provide services to clients so as to keep attractive for investment and to maintain its competitiveness.

During the last ten months, the port's revenues reached about (SYP) 1.950 billion.

At the beginning of 2012, the number of ships reached about 1194 loaded with 6.262 million tons of goods. In addition, the number  of unloaded containers were  more than 28.000.

H. Shamout  

PA’s Budget and Accounts Committee Discusses Economy Ministry’s plans within investment budget

DAMASCUS, (ST) - The People’s Assembly’s Budget and Accounts Committee on Sunday discussed the Ministry of Economy and Foreign Trade’s strategy to implement its proposed plans and projects within the framework of the investment budget allocated to the ministry for 2013.

Discussions dealt with the procedures adopted by the economy ministry to ease the impacts of the crisis which has been hitting the country and with ways of securing enough foreign currency to buy basic materials.

Members of the Committee called for promoting products in local markets and supporting small-sized industrial enterprises which create new job opportunities and help secure income to some families.

They stressed the need to activate export-import activities, urging traders to ensure raw materials and not to manipulate any kind of goods.

 Mohammad Zafer Muhabbek, the Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade said “there is no problem in ensuring the foreign currency needed to buy food stuff, medicine and requirements of the oil and electricity ministries,” stressing that there is no need to worry about the increase of the foreign currency’s purchase price as it goes up and down according to expectations concerning current events.

Muhabbek commended the government’s plan to direct its economic policy eastward so as to cope with the global economic strategies, stressing the ministry’s keen efforts to meet citizens’ needs for food materials and to facilitate procedures to provide services to citizens with a minimum cost as soon as possible.

H. Moustafa

Economy Minister calls for meeting citizens' requirements

Damascus, (S.T) –How to go ahead in providing Syrian citizens with basic need at suitable prices in the light of current circumstances is the main concern of the government.

Dr. Mohammad Zafer Mihbek , Minister of  Economy and Foreign Trade, called upon parties concerned to identify basic needs of strategic importance and draw up a plan to ensure goods in markets to meet citizens' needs.

Addressing the Board of Directors of the General Establishment of Foreign Trade on Saturday, Dr. Mihbek said: "The establishment is playing a key role in importing and ensuring the internal markets' needs of all goods."

He asserted that the newly-formed board of directors has to adopt decisions that serve national economy through following up objective mechanism according to economic developments.

As a long-term goal, the ministry is planning to establish partnership with private sector to ease goods' movement, according to SANA.

For his part, the Establishment's Director General stressed that the staff is working around the clock to ensure citizens' needs despite blockage imposed on Syria.

Mohammad Hammoud pointed out that recent deals sealed to ensure food and non-food items. 



Exportation Promotion and Development Agency GD: We are working to establish "The Syrian Export House"


"The Ministry of Economy and Foreign Trade considers  the Syrian exports a strategic means and a very important message to the entire  world that Syria is the country of civilization and  deep-rooted sublime values, General Director of the Exportation Promotion and Development Agency(EPDA), Ehab Esmandar said.

" the quality of the exported products reflects the  identity and the nature of the country they come from so there is no need to visit the country to know about it, the products that we receive from it will give us a clear idea about the cultural, social and economic components of it,"added Esmandar.

Regarding  (EPDA) work process, Esmandar made it clear  that the key areas the Agency is technically working at is linked to three axis . The first axis is the Marketing and Promotion one. It  Mainly based on the publicity and briefing others on the Syrian various and distinguished export products via basic channels such as holding the Permanent Show for the Syrian Products. Electronic marketing is also one of the most important activities carried out by the (EPDA) as regards the said matter.

The second axis is training and rehabilitation. This job is basically done by the Foreign Training Center and the Commercial Information Center. These two centers organize several courses for training and rehabilitating those who are interested in the field of export. A number of experts and specialists are brought to help exporters   overcome the difficulties hindering their work.

The last axis is the cost cut, which focuses on specific commodities which are of a certain significance for Syrian exports  where direct support is determined for these goods by reducing  their production costs.

" the agency has new ideas for strengthening cooperation relations with the Business Center so as to establish the Syrian Trade Center in the countries that we want to reactivate commercial exchange with,"clarified Esmander.

These centers consist of permanently showrooms for the Syrian products and showrooms for sale . He said that there is the idea of setting up a "Syrian Export House" in a number  of countries across the globe . It is  more comprehensive than the mall .It contains a permanent show location  for the Syrian products prepared for export and a restaurant  for Syrian food as well as  private facilities for Syrian cultural activities.

Mr. Esmandar pointed out to the Agency's seek to issue more studies on the targeted markets that contribute to the discharge of Syrian products as new or additional markets we add to the existing markets stressing that the Agency is interested in studies that serve researchers and interested exporters and anyone who wants to deal with the Syrian economy as a whole.

Amal Farhat