Syria offers new incentives for investors
Despite American attempts to isolate Syria, new incentives recently offered by Syrian President Bashar Al Assad are attracting investors, including those from the UAE such as the Qudra Holding Company.
Chairman of the Board of Qudra, Salah Shamsi, stated on Monday that President Assad's latest visit to Abu Dhabi, along with new Syrian incentives, was successful in encouraging investors to look to Syria for investment opportunities, which in his words were promising.
"The new investment law, issued Saturday in Syria, encouraged investors to make business in the country because it put strong and incentive bases for investment," Shamsi said, according to SANA. Saturday's decree aims to promote foreign investment into Syria with political backing and by "establishing principles to ease administrative procedures ... and a roadmap for investments," reported the AFP.
The decree allows foreign investors to export profits from capital brought into the country through Syrian banks and "to become owners if necessary and for the duration of their projects" in Syria. It also calls for the creation of an investment authority to operate under the prime minister's office, and exempts customs duties on the means of production, including transportation, according to the decree published in the state media.
The legislation signaled "a new era" for Syria, stated Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Dardari, according to Al-Baath, and will help "achieve the targets of the government's (2006-2010) five-year plan and complement its series of economic measures."
Syria reportedly needs some $37 billion in the coming five years to reduce in unemployment and poverty, which stands at around 20 percent and to achieve a growth rate of 7.0 percent.
The new regulations come at a time when the United States is trying to isolate Syria for its supposed interference in Lebanon and Iraq. Last year, the US imposed a ban on some US exports to Syria such as military equipment, while it renewed a freeze on the accounts of Syrians accused of supporting terror organizations.
© 2007 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)