Bid to develop the Syrian IT infrastructure
The Syrian government and the local private sector are presently making preparations to set up a joint enterprise to construct the necessary infrastructure for the information networks in Syria. According to Al-Baath newspaper, the new company will also offer Internet use services at reasonable prices in order to maximize the number of the local Internet users.
The company, 25 percent of which will be controlled by the private sector and an additional 25 percent by the government, is planned to increase the number of the Syrian Internet users from 50,000 to 200,000.
Electronic commerce penetrated into Syria a short time ago. Several Syrian companies, which constructed their own sites on the Internet, are now able to promote their products throughout the world in general and in Europe in particular through the use of a special search engine installed by the Syrian Chamber of Commerce.
Until now, 40 Syrian companies have already displayed their products on the Internet. 65 percent of them have an e-mail address and 50 percent have access to Internet. Some of these companies have begun to execute transactions via the Internet; however, the value of these transactions is quite small in comparison with the global e-commerce.
The local e-mail and Internet services fees in Syria remain high compared with these fees in the neighboring countries. The monthly Internet fee in Syria rises as high as 4,000 Syrian pounds. This price includes 12 free hours, however, the user pays an additional SP 120 per extra hour. In the neighboring states, this fee ranges between $10-$20 per month, not including extra hours payments. ¯ (Albawaba-MEBG)
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