Syria announces reform of inefficient industrial sector
Syria will soon launch a set of measures to reform its uncompetitive industrial sector, state media announced last week. President Bashar al-Assad will head an upcoming meeting of the ruling Baath party leadership to come up with a plan "to improve the quality of industrial production so that it can compete with foreign products," the party's newspaper Al-Baath said.
The economic reforms will center on both Syria's private and public sectors, along with joint projects that include both state and private financing. The measures are part of a plan of "comprehensive reform of the economy launched by the Syrian president which has as its chief goal an increase in revenues and an improvement in citizens' living conditions," the paper said.
With a sluggish economy, the average monthly salary in Syria is only $87.5, with officials and bureaucrats making about $100. The Baath party on December 2 gave the green light for the creation of private banks and a stock exchange. The party's regional command also urged the country's banks to trade the Syrian pound at closer to its real value.
The Syrian government uses a variety of rates to value the Syrian pound, ranging from 11 to 46 pounds to the dollar. The effective street rate of the dollar is around 50 pounds. — (AFP, Damascus)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)