MBA students and professors from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on Friday ended a three-day visit to Syria aimed at studying the economic changes taking place, The Daily Star reported.
Accompanied by a team of Syrian students from AUB, the MIT team had met with Syrian Economy and Trade Minister Mohammad Imadi on Thursday.
In a two-hour debate, Imadi recounted Syria’s modern economic history, pointing out that the economic situation could only be understood in the context of the Baath Party’s radical socialist economic policies, said the daily.
The Baath Party, which came to power in 1963, nationalized public institutions, turning Syria into a centrally planned economy - a policy that proved disastrously erroneous, according to the paper.
Imadi, according to the paper, agreed with one of the visiting MIT professors that high levels of taxation were more of a setback than an asset to the state.
He added, however, that “we (Syria) are on our way, more or less, toward a market economy,” saying that President Bashar Assad had been more exposed to the modern world of economics and willing to change than his predecessors – Albawaba.com