Syria’s Ruling Party Discusses Future Economic Prospects
By Nabil Al Mulhem
Albawaba.com – Damascus
Members of the regional command of the Syrian ruling Baath Party discussed at a meeting last week working papers related to the economic future of the country “in light of the domestic and external developments,” according to sources close to the command.
The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that each member of the ministerial council, Vice President Abdul Halim Khaddam, the Trade Union, Monitoring and Inspection Commission, the Ministries of Economy and Planning presented their papers at the meeting.
The papers tackled the future of the public sector in the country, calling for preserving it, while introducing market economy aspects into it. They said that the qualifications of the civil servants should be upgraded and profitable public projects be studied, according to the sources, who cited the some officials as suggesting leasing state-run factories as an alternative to complete privatization.
But privatization is not totally ruled out, according to the sources. They said the municipality of Damascus will refer a tender for private companies to take over the cleaning works in the capital.
According to sources close to the government, privatization will cover more sectors such as oil industry, and even more strategic sectors such as water and electricity. As for education, the status quo will remain the same; however, private higher education institutions will be licensed.
Observers notice two different approaches to economic openness in Syria. Those who prefer going for total privatization of the public sectors, and others who propose renovating the sector, while encouraging private enterprises.
According to confirmed inside information, a committee comprising 18 economic experts has been formed to discuss the economic alternatives and report to President Bashar Assad – Albawaba.com
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)