The European Union is "exaggerating" the problem of its cotton yarn imports from Syria, a Syrian state industry official said in an interview published in Damascus on Monday, April 9.
"The European states' allegation is over-exaggerated, Syria's exports are still small compared to the European market needs and imports," said the General Establishment of Textiles Industries director, Gazi Khadra.
The increase in Syrian exports was the result of "the improvement of the quantity and the quality of the cotton yarn production," he added, quoted by the government newspaper Syria Times .
"The problem will certainly be solved, Syria is adamant on maintaining its policy of protecting the interests of both parties," he said.
Syrian exports of cotton yarn to the EU have seen a marked surge over the last two years, prompting the commission to put them under monitoring to make sure there was no dumping, but without applying any restrictions.
According to the European delegation in Damascus, the EU's imports of cotton yarn increased to 30,417 tons and €81 million ($73 million) in 2000, from 988 tons and €2.8 million in 1996.
Syria ranks tenth in the world for cotton production, with an annual output of some one million tons, but it has been experiencing problems in marketing its textiles.
Industry Minister Ahmed Hamu on Saturday said Syria managed last year to clear the textile stocks piling up at state companies. — (AFP, Damascus)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)